The last time Tanzania participated in Africa’s flagship football tournament, AFCON was in 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria.
But 39 years after, it was the formee Nigeria and FC Barcelona winger who pulled through, the Taifa Stars’ 2019 AFCON qualification strings after he was hired as the country’s national team manager.
Tanzania’s 3-0 home win against the Cranes of Uganda on the final day of the qualifiers handed them their first AFCON finals ticket in 39 years.
In Egypt, Tanzania played in Group C alongside eventual winners, Algeria; finalists, Senegal and Kenya, with match venue at June 30 Stadium, Cairo.
Amuneke’s Taifa Stars crashed out in the group stages after losing 3-2 to Kenya’s Harambee Stars in the opening group match.
That was followed by a 2-0 defeat by the Terranga Lions of Senegal and 3-0 defeat by eventual champions, Desert Foxes of Algeria.
Exiting the tournament without a win, a disillusioned Tanzania FA mutually disengaged the services of Amuneke who had in 2015 in Chile guided Nigeria to victory in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the fifth time Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets would annex the title to become the most successful nation at that level of global football.
The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games men’s football gold medal winner, after discussing his disengagement as Taifa Stars coach,waited in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania for the TFF to offset his outstanding contractual entitlements.
But with TFF appearing not forthcoming with any positive response almost two months after the AFCON, Amuneke has informed Completesports.com he has taken the matter to FIFA to compel the Tanzanian football ruling body to respect and obey the terms of their contract by paying him his entitlements
“I’ve contacted FIFA on the matter”, Amuneke told Completesports.com tacitly on Wednesday morning from his base in Spain.
“Its not something we should be making noise about, but hopefully FIFA will look into and decide if it is proper for one not to be paid after work,” Amuneke said.
Amuneke won the 1994 Nations Cup with the Super Eagles in Tunisia after scoring a brace which sank The Chipolopolo of Zambia 2-1 in the final.