With more than 10,000 guests flocking into the city starting from the second week of December 2023, Arusha is essentially fully booked for Christmas.
The East African Chipkizi cup is an annual international sporting competition organized by the Future Stars Academy (FSA) of Arusha.
Alfred Itaeli is the Director of the Future Stars Academy who says the 2023 instalment of Chipkizi Cup has attracted more than 300 teams from all over the world.
“More than 310 soccer teams, coming along with 5000 players, will be jetting into Arusha for the full week-long event,” said Itaeli, explaining that the football event runs from 11 to 17 December, 2023.
Alfred added that the teams also bring along more than 6000 supporters, for the 14th season of the annual East African Youth Soccer tournament, popularly known as the Chipkizi Cup as well as hundreds of international scouts and soccer team officials.
In total, Arusha will be handling more than 10,000 visitors for over seven-days that the event will be taking place in Tanzania, rendering most hotels in the city to be full next December, a month which also features Christmas rush.
Officials from Chicago Fire Football Club, the American Professional Soccer team will also be jetting into Tanzania to recruit promising young sports talents during the East African Youth Soccer tourney coming up in Arusha.
The annual multinational soccer competition, known as Chipkizi Cup will this time feature the Simba Sports Club of Msimbazi Dar-es-salaam, which for the first time brings two teams to participate in the Tournament.
That means Simba Sports Club stands the chance of producing young players who will be fielding for Chicago Fire FC in the United States, should the Msimbazi team players impress officials from the United States.
The Chicago Fire Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in Chicago, whose agents are coming to Tanzania in anticipation to recruit young players from the country.
The Chicago Fire team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and now wants to pick new players from East Africa.
The MLS is a men’s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, representing the sport’s highest level in the United States.
Simba SC, on the other hand is one of the leading football entities in Tanzania and is sending two youth teams, the Under-17 and the Under-20 players to compete in the forthcoming Chipkizi Cup 2023.
Together Azam FC and other teams from across Africa, Simba will be competing in this year’s ‘Chipkizi Cup,’ taking place in the second week of December 2023.
The East African soccer tourney features several categories, including Under-7; Under-9, Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, under-17 and Under-20, for both boys and girls.
Participating countries include Kenya, Uganda, Japan, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Somalia, DR Congo, South Africa, Zanzibar and the host Tanzania.
Then there will be talent recruiting agents, scouts and soccer teams from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Macedonia, Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Kenya and Malawi.
The MLS, Chicago Fire from the U.S and the Outreach Ministry of Malawi are some of the soccer entities that will be pitching camp in Tanzania for the Arusha-held event in December.
The 2023 Chipkizi Cup, which runs for the 14th year now, will be staged at various venues in Arusha, including the Tanganyika Game Trackers (TGT) grounds, the Aga-Khan Sports Center, the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium and the United World Colleges (UWC).
The Arusha Regional Football Association (ARFA) Zakayo Mjema said the Chipkizi Cup has been making Tanzania proud, through producing a number of players that are currently playing for various international teams abroad.