7 Elite Academy players from East Africa are aiming to attend next year’s International Tournament in the United States.
This year’s competition, held at the start of February, saw a record 200 youth football teams from across the United States battle it out in Southern Utah.
Covid-19 restrictions prevented youngsters in Tanzania from attending this year, after early plans were put in place for them to make the trip.
But with several 7 Elite Academy teams from the United Kingdom set to travel in 2022, their counterparts in Dar es Salaam want to follow suit.
Reggie Wilson, President of 7 Elite Academy Tanzania, said: “Our players were naturally disappointed to miss out this year, but they all understood why it couldn’t happen.
“Now we are focusing our efforts on getting a team of players to Utah for the tournament in 2022, when hopefully travel restrictions will have been lifted.
“We have to be positive about the situation we find ourselves in, so now we have the opportunity to work hard all year and make sure we raise the funding.
“It is essential we plan all aspects of this trip early on, so preparations can be put in place for the players as soon as possible.”
Next year’s 7 Elite Academy International Tournament is expected to take place in its now traditional slot of early February.
Clubs are already enquiring about the 2022 event, which this year beat its previous record for registrations by over 30%.
The addition of a team from Tanzania, together with players from Liverpool, will add to the competition’s’ burgeoning reputation for top-level competition.
Reggie added: “We have some fantastic players in Dar es Salaam, so it will be fascinating to see how they match up against teams from the United Kingdom and United States.
“But this trip won’t just be about playing football. It will give our young people a way to sample different cultures and educational opportunities.
“We will be organizing various tours and visits away from the tournament itself, so the players can make the most of their time in the United States.
“Right now, the aim is to make this trip happen. That process of hard work and fundraising will, in itself, be valuable to the players moving forwards.”