Samatta appointed tourism ambassador
Dar es Salaam. After registering huge achievements at the Belgium-based football club, Koninklijke Racing Club Genk, popularly known as KRC, Mr Mbwana Samatta has been assigned the role of Tanzania’s Tourism goodwill ambassador.
Tourism and Natural Resources minister Hamis Kigwangalla made the announcement yesterday, while winding up his budget speech in Parliament, in Dodoma.
“We have appointed Tanzanian international football player, who is playing for KRC Genk of Belgium, Mbwana Samatta, as the country’s tourism ambassador,” announced Dr Kigwangalla.
According to him, in his new role, the 26-year old player will be required to frequently speak in the country’s national language, Kiswahili, mention Tanzania’s name and display the national flag.
He also revealed that the government was in talks with KRC Gent, which will see the recently crowned Belgium champions arrive in the country for friendlies.
According to him, Samatta has already started to persuade fellow players and other people from Belgium to visit Tanzania’s tourist attractions.
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The minister also hinted that the Thursday match between Tanzania’s soccer giants Simba and their Spanish counterparts Sevilla attracted a huge following and generated heated social media debate in the European country.
Samatta scored 23 goals in Jupiler League to help KRC Genk to clinch the fourth title — and the first since 2011. The goals also made him top scorer in the Jupiler League after 28 appearances.
Samatta, who is also Taifa Stars captain, also led his colleagues to qualify for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2019, slated to take place in Egypt between June 21 and July 19, this year.
Taifa Stars will be participating in the Afcon for the first time in history after doing so in 1980.
His debut with the national team came on February 9, 2011, when he was just 18 under the then Taifa Stars coach and manager, Jan Paulsen.
Samatta who was in 2016 crowned the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Player of the Year based on the continent has scored 17 goals with Taifa Stars.
The Tanzania tourism diplomat started his career with African Lyon before being signed by Tanzania Mainland Soccer Champions Simba Sports Club between 2010 and 2011.
He signed to play Tout Puissant Mazembe famously known as TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011 to say goodbye to his fans in Lubumbashi in 2016 after inking a contract with KRC Genk.