Kenya’s Minister of Sports, Ababu Namwamba, has thrown his weight behind Tanzania’s Taifa Stars to clinch the AFCON title this year in the ongoing tournament in Ivory Coast.
During his analysis on Kenya’s national broadcasting station on Wednesday, January 17, Namwamba claimed that despite initially being considered one of the weakest teams in the tournament, Taifa Stars could cause a stir and emerge as champions.
Namwamba stated, “Anything is possible in football. If recent history has taught us anything, it is that there are no underdogs in football. I am from East Africa. To my fellow East Africans in Tanzania, I say, I believe you can compete well.”
The minister noted that this year’s tournament has taught him that there are no weak teams in the competition, referring to how teams perceived as underdogs surprised those considered football powerhouses.
“There are no weak teams; anyone can win AFCON, including Tanzania,” emphasized Ababu.
However, Taifa Stars suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco, who reached the semi-finals in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Ababu acknowledged that, just as many viewed Tanzania as underdogs, many saw Morocco as weak during the World Cup, but they surprised everyone by reaching the semi-finals.
“Anyone can beat anyone. No one gave Morocco a chance during the World Cup in Qatar, but they went all the way to the semi-finals. There’s nothing stopping Tanzania from performing well,” said the Minister of Sports.