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Minister beefs up Stars mission

THE Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports has called upon sports lovers and stakeholders to rally behind Taifa Stars in their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Speaking to reporters in the city yesterday, Mwakyembe said the national team relies on Tanzanians support both morally and materially, hence either of the two is much needed to boost the team’s performance.

He said the support is much needed to boost the morale of the players who are our principal soldiers in the tough mission.

“Our players need motivation, which only the Tanzanians can provide to the team,” he said. He said there are two bank accounts opened for those wishing to support the team and players.

He named the first account number as CRDB no 01J109956700 whose account name is the National Sports Council (NSC)) 0111010009781 and cellular phone number 0735414043 owned by Oscar Zabron. A

dding, he said there will be special function on Thursday which will be aired live. “It will be supported by certification of all stakeholders who would have heavily supported the team’s AFCON campaign,” he said.

"Anything; even 2,500/- will be accepted and highly appreciated as a reward to our team and players,” added Mwakyembe.

Meanwhile, Taifa Stars drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe in their second warm up match held behind the closed doors at El Sekka El Hadid Stadium in Cairo.

The Zimbabwean Warriors got their goal from Knox Mutizwa in the first half while Taifa Stars grabbed the equaliser in the second period through Mbwana Samatta.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa rested a couple of his players with Khama Billiat sitting out after picking up a knock while Danny Phiri was the captain in the absence of Knowledge Musona.

Taifa Stars assistant coach Hemedi Morocco said the match and the previous one against Egypt have helped the technical bench in sorting outing several areas of weakness.

“The two warm up matches have enabled us to rectify several mistakes and improve where we saw weaknesses,” said Morocco.

"He said all teams that have qualified for AFCON finals are good and well drilled, but the two warm up matches have made us know our position and how to play against our opponents,” added Morocco.

Also echoed comments on the friendly match was the former Young Africans midfield maestro Thabani, who is with Zimbabwe team in Egypt, who admitted it was a good match though looked tough on the both sides.

He said he was delighted to play against Taifa Stars players, most of whom he said he played with and against in his career as Yanga player. Tanzania under coach Emmanuel Amuneke has brought 23-man final squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Genk striker Mbwana Samatta, who scored the equaliser against Zimbabwe, tops the list, along with Farid Mussa of Tenerife and Erasto Nyoni of Simba Sporting Club.

In total, 10 of the selected players are plying their trades abroad while 13 are from local clubs in Tanzania. The East Africans have been drawn alongside Senegal, Kenya and Algeria in Group C.

They kick off their campaign in the tournament against Senegal on June 23.

CONFIDENT Taifa Stars players arrived safely in Sudan ...

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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