Teams Cruise Into Africa ARS Semis –

BOTH Tanzania boys and girls football teams have qualified for the semifinals of the U-17 Airtel Rising Stars inter-country tournament, inching closer to the morale boosting USD 10,000 (about 16m/-) cash prize and the glorious champions trophy.

The girls now face neighbouring Uganda later today while the boys will have a daunting task against unpredictable Zambia whom they battled to a 1-1 draw in the group stage mid this week.

The Tanzania female team enters the pitch today with a clear memory of a 0-1 beating they suffered at the hands of Uganda in the preliminary stage last Wednesday.

To qualify to the semi-finals Tanzania girls’ team dismissed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 4-2 in post match penalty shoot-outs after the two tied 1-1 in ordinary 90 minutes. Hosts Nigeria girls also eliminated Ghana 4-2 on penalty shoot-outs following a 0-0 deadlock after 90 minutes whistle.

The quarterfinal girls match between Uganda and Malawi was also decided on penalty shoot-outs after the two had drawn 0-0 in the normal 90 minutes match time. Uganda won 4-2.

Kenya girls sailed through to the semi-finals by pummelling Chad 3-0. Defending champions in the boys’ category Niger marched into the semi-final yesterday when they pulverized Malawi 3-1 and will play hosts Nigeria today. Nigeria booked a semi-final ticket by seeing off Chad 2-1 on Saturday.

Tanzanians and other football fans across the continent can watch semi-final and final matches of this tournament live on Supersport 9.

Players for both Tanzanian teams were in high spirits for their crucial matches. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s superstar artiste, 2Face Idibia, will light up the stage at the closing ceremony of the Airtel Rising Stars Africa championship at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

The high profile concert, to be held on Sunday, will bring the largest pan African youth football tournament to an end. TuFace, who was one of the 8 African artistes that collaborated with America’s R Kelly on Airtel’s One 8 musical project, came into musical limelight with his mega hit track, African Queen.

He is seen as a role model amongst African youths, as he represents the new generation of Africans who are succeeding against all odds in their chosen careers. Over 500 aspiring footballers travelled to Lagos to participate in the Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship.

The countries that are participating are – Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, Gabon, DRC, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Uganda, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Segun Ogunsanya, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, said: “Airtel has signed broadcasting pacts with SuperSport and Canal Plus to ensure that young aspiring footballers get the Pan African media exposure they deserve.

Fans across the continent have the opportunity to view the dazzling skills of these extremely talented players.” The best players of the tournament will participate in football clinics under the supervision of the best coaches of the Arsenal FC and Manchester United soccer schools.

The clinics will be held in April 2014 in Lagos (Nigeria) and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo). Arsenal legend Robert Pires is set to grace the finals of the Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship.

The former French international is remembered for the pivotal he played at Arsenal during the 2003/2004 English Premier League season.

Teams Cruise Into Africa ARS Semis –

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