F4F World Championship Day
Lengo footballers Laigwanani and Ziporah continued their dream trip to the World Cup in Russia yesterday (Tuesday) by taking part in the Football for Friendship world championship in Moscow.
And it has been announced that one of the Arusha 12-year-olds will take part in the football World Cup official opening ceremony at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday, televised live to a global audience of 3.5 billion people, before the opening game between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The children were among 1500 children from an unprecedented 211 countries, in 32 teams, all named after endangered animals, who played off for the Football for Friendship championship at the Spartak football stadium grounds.
As a designated Young Journalist, Ziporah was excited to be there to support and chronicle the fortunes of her team, Big Turtle. Lucky Laigwanani was goalkeeper for the Big Turtle team, which also featured young players from Rwanda, Somalia, Trinidad and Tobago and the Solomon Islands, and a 16-year-old coach from the Cook Islands.
In front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, Laigwanani was in outstanding form throughout the three early rounds of matches, keeping two clean sheets and conceding only one goal in three straight victories for his team, qualifying them for knockout rounds in the evening.
Unfortunately the momentum failed to carry through the break and despite a brave and determined effort, Big Turtle were downed in the quarter-finals by very strong eventual finalists Kimodo Dragons.
The outstanding team of Chimpanze beat the Dragons in the final after an epic tussle to become world champions.
The Tanzanian children were excited to take part and immensely enjoyed their day.
By Dominic Biggs