NATIONAL team, Taifa Stars Head Coach, Emmanuel Amunike has unveiled his final 23-man squad ahead of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), finals in Egypt.
Baroka FC defender, Abdi Banda, attacker Shiza Kichuya, who features for Egyptian side ENPPI and striker Shaban Chilunda from Spain’s Segunda Division side CD Tenerife have been dropped.
National Under-17 team, Serengeti Boys star striker, Kelvin John and youthful goalkeeper Claryo Boniface, who features for the national Under- 20 side Ngorongoro Heroes have also been dropped from the squad.
Also in the list are Seleman Salula (Malindi), David Mwantika (Azam FC), Fred Tangalu (Lipuli) and Miraji Athumani (Lipuli).
The players will now jet back in the country from Alexandria where the team has pitched residential camp ahead of the finals.
The final squad which remained in Egypt ahead of the African biggest showpiece scheduled to kick off from June 21st to July 19th this year are goalkeepers: Aishi Manula (Simba SC), Metacha Mnata (Mbao FC) and Aaron Kalambo from Tanzania Prisons.
Defenders: Hassan Ramadan Kessy (Nkana FC), Gadiel Michael and Kelvin Yondani (Young Africans), Mohammed Hussein and Erasto Nyoni (Simba SC), Vincent Phillipo (Mbao FC), Aggrey Morris (Azam FC) and Ally Mtoni from Lipuli FC.
Midfielders: Himid Mao (Petrojet FC), Feisal Salum (Young Africans), Frank Domayo and Mudathir Yahya from Azam FC.
Strikers: John Bocco (Simba SC), Thomas Ulimwengu (JS Saoura --Algeria), Farid Mussa (Tenerife-- Spain), Simon Msuva (Difaä El Jadid-- Morocco), Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk- Belgium), Rashid Mandawa (BDF-- Botswana), Yahya Zayd (Ismaily--Egypt) and Adi Yusuf from England’s Blackpool.
Packed in group C, the country's torchbearer will ignite their campaign by facing Senegal on June 23rd before taking on neighbours Kenya on June 27th.
Stars will wind up group stage mission by playing against Algeria on July 1st. Today, Stars will play AFCON Egyptian Pharaohs at the Borg El- Arab Stadium in in a friendly game.
At least thirty thousand fans are expected to watch the match. Taifa Stars will then square up against Zimbabwe three days later in their final build-up match as proposed by Head Coach Amunike.
Speaking about the two build up games, Taifa Stars skipper, Mbwana Samatta said that the team is wellprepared for the matches, saying they will provide good test for the team before the finals.
However, reports from Egypt had it that Liverpool star striker Mohamed Salah might not be part of Pharaoh’s squad which will take on Stars tonight. Salah reported at Egypt’s training camp yesterday.
Salah didn’t turn up until Wednesday as he needed a long rest after guiding Liverpool to the historic UEFA Champions League title in Madrid on June 1st this year.
The Pharaohs have started their camp a week ago as they prepare for 2019 AFCON. The hosts team Pharaohs Coach Javier Aguirre has also unveiled his final 23-man squad for the 2019 AFCON finals.
Egyptian referee Mohamed Adel will take charge of the game, and will be assisted by compatriots Samir Gamal and Youssef El-Bossaty.