`Stars players must work hard’ 

FOOTBALL legends and experts have expressed confidence on the selected players for Taifa Stars ahead of two qualifying matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup against Niger and Morocco and called on them to work hard.

Tanzania’s envoys are in Group E alongside Morocco, Zambia, Congo, Niger and Eritrea.

Taifa Stars will begin their qualification campaign by facing Niger on November 18th at the Grand Stadium of Marrakech in Morocco, which Niger has chosen as its hosting venue.

Then, on November 21st, Tanzania will host Morocco at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam in another crucial match for both sides.

Former Taifa Stars player Sunday Manara reiterated that he has big trust in the squad and demanded hard work from the players.

“Tanzania football is developing very fast and the good thing is that most of the players who have been called have experience in playing international matches in the clubs they represent.

This is a good thing when it comes to international matches because they need players who are well-exposed to such games. All the best to them,” said Manara former Young African and Pan African striker.

He added that it is the responsibility of each player trusted to put on the national team jersey to fight hard for the country.

“There is nothing new in football. It is the same sport they play each day,” he said.

Former Ashanti United player Kassim Awadhi reacted that he had no doubts about the squad as most of the players are the ones who regularly feature in the national team.

“Of course, there are several new faces who are making their maiden call-up to the senior team. For them, we have to wait and see what they will bring to the team.

“But, for those who are familiar with the team, I have no problem with that. We just need to give them full support to ensure that we do well in the qualifiers,” he said.

He then urged Tanzanians to always rally behind their flag-bearer team whenever they play. Doing that shows solidarity and encourages players to do well on the pitch.

“We have no other national team other than Taifa Stars. We should, therefore, be proud of our team and render the necessary support when needed to do so,” Awadhi said.

The full squad comprises of the following players, Goalkeepers: Beno Kakolanya (Singida Big Stars), Aishi Manula (Simba), Aboutwalb Mshery (Young Africans), Kwesi Kawawa (Karlslunden, Sweden) and Metacha Mnata (Young Africans).

Defenders: Dickson Job (Young Africans), Bakari Mwamnyeto (Young Africans), Ibrahim Hamad (Young Africans), Lusajo Mwaikenda (Azam), Nickson Kibabage (Young Africans) and Haji Mnonga (Aldershot Town, England).

Others are Abdulhamid Banda (Richards Bay, South Africa), Edward Manyama (Azam), Abdulmalik Zakaria (Namungo), Omary Mvugi (FC Nantes, France), Novatus Miroshi (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine) and Edwin Balua (Tanzania Prisons).

Midfielders: Ibrahim Joshua (Tusker FC, Kenya), Mzamiru Yassin (Simba), Sospeter Bajana (Azam), Baraka Majogoro (Chippa United, South Africa), Feisal Salum (Azam), Mudathir Yahya (Young Africans), Morice Abraham (FK Spartak, Serbia), Himid Mao (Tala’ea El Gaish, Egypt) and Ludaki Chasambi (Mtibwa Sugar).

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