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Dar es Salaam. Young Africans goalkeeper Mudathir Khamis and Azam FC’s Mwadini Ali have been left out of the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
There is also no place for Simba Sports Club’s defender Mohamed Tshabalala Hussein for the group G clash set for September 5 at the National Stadium.
Unveiling his 29-man provisional squad for the qualifier yesterday, Taifa Stars head coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa voiced optimism that his boys will put their Afcon campaign back on track at the expense of Super Eagles.
Mkwasa, who took charge of the Stars a few months ago, said Khamis, Mwadini and Hussein were not good enough to be in his squad for the anxiously awaited match.
There are five professional players in his squad. The players are Adi Yussuf who plays for Mansfield Town in the UK, Hassan Sembi of South Africa’s Santos FC and Mrisho Ngasa (Free State).
Others are strikers Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu who ply their trade with TP Mazembe in DR Congo, and the Senegal-based midfielder Orgenes Mollel.
Goalkeepers in Mkwasa’s team are Ally Mustafa (Yanga), Aishi Manula (Azam FC) while defenders are Shomari Kapombe (Azam FC), Michael Aidan (Ruvu Shooting), Juma Abdul, Mwinyi Haji (Yanga ) and Abdi Banda (Simba).
Central defenders are Nadir Canavaro Haroub, Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Hassan Isihaka (Simba) while midfielders are Himid Mao, Frank Domayo, Mudathir Yahya (Azam FC), Salum Telela (Yanga) and Said Ndemla (Simba).
Wingers are Simon Msuva, Deus Kaseke (Yanga), Orgenes Mollel (Aspire – Senegal), Abdrahman Mbambi (Mafunzo), Ramadhan Singano, Farid Musa (Azam) and strikers are John Bocco, Ame Ally (Azam) and Rashid Mandawa (Mwadui FC).
Stars are expected to report at camp in Dar es Salaam on Monday, according to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).
They will camp in the city for nearly two weeks before heading to Istanbul, Turkey for further residential training.
While in Turkey, they will play two international friendly matches against Libya and Kuwait later this month ahead of the Nigeria showdown.
I am optimistic that the two warm-ups against Libya and Kuwait will give my players the much needed exposure for the Nigeria match, Mkwasa said.
Meanwhile, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have all fallen while Kenya remains static in the latest FIFA World rankings.
Tanzania has dropped one place to 140, and Uganda who was at 73rd last month, is now 74th while Rwanda has dropped 13 places to 91st.
Kenya remains static at 116 while Ethiopia moved up two places and are now ranked at 99th. Nevertheless, Uganda remains in the top 20 ranked nations in Africa sitting at 19th position.
Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal complete the top five of Africa’s continent but stand 19th, 21st, 27th, 34th and 39th respectively in the world.