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Kazimoto to stir Stars fireworks

“Mwinyi Kazimoto arrived on Monday and is today (yesterday) expected to travel to Tukuyu, Mbeya region to join the national team which is camping under head coach Mart Nooij ahead of the match,” Tanzania Football Federation’s spokesperson Boniface Wambura said.

Mwinyi is the only overseas player who has honoured Taifa Stars call-up after TP Mazembe duo of Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu were declared unavailable for the preliminary round’s first leg tie to be staged at the National Stadium on May 18.

The arrival of the versatile Kazimoto, who plies his trade with Al Markhiya club, is expected to hand Taifa Stars and Dutch coach Nooij a considerable boost especially in the absence of Samata and Ulimwengu.

TFF confirmed on Monday that the Stars’ influential attacking pair will not be available for the preliminary round double header against Zimbabwe due to club commitment.

Recently, FIFA stated that clubs do not have to release their players for the 2015 African Cup of Nations opening round qualifiers.

The world football governing body said dates for the opening qualifying rounds fall outside the FIFA calendar for international matches, so clubs are not obliged to release players.

The FIFA Media Department said: “Release of players is only possible upon mutual agreement between the national associations and the clubs to which the players belong.

“There is no obligation for the clubs to release their players on these dates.”

That means TP Mazembe do not have to release Samata and Ulimwengu for the first round of qualifiers, as those dates could clash with the CAF Champions League group stage match against Al Hilal Omdurman due May 17.

The absence of the striking pair, unarguably the most reliable supply of goals for the Stars at the moment, is a massive loss for newly-appointed Stars coach Nooij, who watched his lads fail to find the back of the net as they played out a goalless draw with Malawi in an international friendly match in Mbeya on Sunday.

On Monday, Nooij took measures to further galvanize his squad by recalling no-nonsense defender Kelvin Yondan and attacking midfielder Mrisho Ngasa following the barren draw with Malawi at the Sokoine Stadium.

Yondani was in the initial Taifa Stars squad but TFF opted to drop him for indiscipline after he reportedly failed to turn up to the camp in time for the friendly match against Burundi played on April 26, with the Stars conceding a 3-0 defeat.

Ngasa, meanwhile, pulled out of the initial squad after picking up injury in training prior to the build-up match against Burundi, but the diminutive wing wizard has recovered in time for the game against Zimbabwe.

The Young Africans duo, who have been key members of the senior national team for quite sometime now, will add the needed experience ahead of the crucial date against Zimbabwe.

If the Stars will succeed to see off Zimbabwe, they will come up against the winner between Mozambique and South Sudan, with the first leg match to be played between July 18 and 20 while the return leg will be played two weeks later.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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