Isles duo left out in 24-man Stars
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Taifa Stars Head Coach, Salum Mayanga

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THE national team, Taifa Stars coach, Salum Mayanga has named a 26man squad to take part in upcoming friendly matches as part of preparations for the CHAN and AFCON qualifiers.

In the new squad, Mayanga has left out players from Zanzibar, citing the possibility of the semi-autonomous Island attaining full membership to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

It means that key defenders Haji Mwinyi and Aggrey Morris were left out of the squad, pending on CAF’s decision on Zanzibar request to become full member of the continental body.

“If Zanzibar will be granted CAF membership, it means we’ll no longer form up one team with Zanzibar, but if the move fail, we’ll recall the Isles’ players, I have reserved four places for them,” Mayanga told the media yesterday.

Notable inclusion in the squad is the Kagera Sugar and Ruvu Shooting youngsters Mbaraka Yussuf and Abdulrahman Juma respectively. Simba defender Abdi Banda has been recalled to the team after a series of impressive performances at the heart of the Reds defence.

Azam and Simba have each contributed seven players, while there are four players from Young Africans, two from Mtibwa Sugar and one each from Kagera Sugar, Mwadui and Ruvu Shooting.

Foreign-based trio, including captain and Belgium’s KRC Genk striker Mbwana Samatta, Thomas Ulimwengu (AFC Eskilstuna, Sweden) and Farid Mussa (DC Tennerife, Spain) have also been summoned.

Mayanja said the team will move into residential camp next Sunday ahead of two friendly matches against Botswana on March 25 and Burundi on March 28. Both games will be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The friendlies are meant to prepare the Stars for the African Nations Championship (CHAN, meant for homebased players) and African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches.

Taifa Stars have been drawn against Rwanda in the second round of 2018 CHAN qualifiers for Central and East Geographical Zone in July. The first leg is scheduled to be played between July 14 and 16 in Dar es Salaam with the return leg due to two weeks later in Kigali.

The winner between Tanzania and Rwanda will take on Uganda, which is favourite to go past the winner of the second round tie between Sudan and Somalia. In the AFCON qualifiers, Taifa Stars will compete in Group L alongside Uganda, Cape Verde and Lesotho.

Full squad: Goalkeepers; Aishi Manula (Azam), Deogratius Munishi (Young Africans) and Said Mohamed (Mtibwa Sugar). Defenders; Shomary Kapombe (Azam), Hassan Kessy (Yanga), Mohammed Hussein (Simba), Gardiel Michael (Azam), Andrew Vincent (Yanga), Salim Mbonde (Mtibwa Sugar), Banda (Simba) and Erasto Nyoni (Azam FC). Midfielders; Himid Mao (Azam), Jonas Mkude (Simba), Salum Abubakar ‘Sure Boy’ (Azam), Said Ndemla (Simba), Frank Domayo (Azam), Muzamil Yassin (Simba), Simon Msuva (Yanga), Shiza Kichuya (Simba), Mussa (DC Tennerife) and Hassan Kabunda (Mwadui FC). Strikers; Samatta (KRC Genk, Belgium), Ulimwengu (AFC Eskilstuna, Sweden), Ibrahim Hajib (Simba), Mbarak Yussuf (Kagera Sugar) and Abdulrahman Mussa (Ruvu Shooting). The technical bench includes assistant coach Patrick Mwangata, who is also goalkeeping coach, Danny Msangi (Manager), Ally Ruvu (Kit Manager), Richard Yomba (Doctor) and Gilbert Kigadya (Physician).

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