THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) said time has come for the country’s senior team Taifa Stars to make consistent appearance in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
Stars, who have been packed in group J of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers, begin their campaign on Friday by entertaining Equatorial Guinea at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam knowing in advance that claiming maximum points from home venue is good for them.
The home team managed to play in this year’s AFCON edition which was played in Egypt and is eager to re-appear in the continent’s hot contest set to be staged in Cameroon in 2021.
Stars are already on the ground making final touches before welcoming their opponents while waiting to face other group’s members Tunisia and Libya respectively in the other upcoming qualifying matches.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam, the federation’s Technical Director Oscar Mirambo reiterated that they will play their part to ensure that Stars constantly reaches in AFCON finals.
“As you know, we have tasted how good it feels to play in the AFCON finals after many years of waiting such that we want to make this as a long lasting culture,” he said.
He added that playing against Equatorial Guinea and getting tangible results will be a good step forward as far as playing in the 2021 finals is concerned.
“We believe in the quality of the squad we have at hand. Both local and foreign based players have been showing great performance such that we simply need to give them morale,” he said.
On his part, TFF General Secretary Wilfred Kidao named entry charges as 5,000/- for VIP B while ordinary seats will be accessed by 3,000/- only.
“As TFF, our main concern is to get many supporters to back up Taifa Stars and not necessarily to make money that is why we have come up with affordable entry charges for many people to turn up,” he said.
In his remarks, Charles Abel, who spoke on behalf of sports reporters in the country urged more fans to flock at the venue in their big number saying in these competitions, a win at home helps to define the team’s destiny.
“Basing on how important the match is, we have come up with a special campaign themed, ‘Lets go again 2021’ meaning that since we did it this year, we need to make it again in 2021,” he said.
The 27 member Star’s squad summoned to face Equatorial Guinea is made up of the following: Juma Kaseja (KMC), Metacha Mnata (Young Africans), David Kisu (Gor Mahia), Salum Kimenya (Tanzania Prisons), Ramadhan Kessy (Nkana FC) and Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Others are Gadiel Michael (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Simba), Bakari Nondo (Coastal Union), Kelvin Yondani (Young Africans), Dickson Job (Mtibwa Sugar), Jonas Mkude (Simba) and Abdulaziz Makame (Young Africans).
Also the list consist of Eliuter Mpepo (Buildcon, Zambia), Iddi Suleiman (Azam FC), Salum Abubakar (Azam FC), Ditram Nchimbi (Polisi Tanzania), Shaban Idd (Azam FC), Mzamiru Yassin (Simba SC), Frank Domayo (Azam FC), Mbwana Samatta (Genk-Belgium), Farid Mussa (Tenerife-Spain), Miraji Athuman (Simba SC), Hassan Dilunga (Simba SC) and Kelvin John (Football House).