DR Congo based stars Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu have been retained by national soccer team Taifa Stars coach, Kim Poulsen in the squad, which will enter camp for a series of friendly matches before their 2014 World Cup qualifier match against Morocco in March.
The two strikers were part of the team that was called by Kim for last month's friendly match against African Champions, Zambia 'Chipolopolo' but went AWOL. They later reported late in the camp and were left out of the match because they were nursing injuries.
Stars went ahead to win 1-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. The duo also missed out of the Mainland's Kilimanjaro Stars team campaign in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala from November 24 to December 8, last year because they were denied permission by their Congolese club TP Mazembe.
During the match against Zambia several soccer fans failed to hold their anger and insulted the two players, accusing them of putting their interest ahead of the national team. However, both the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Kim quelled the situation and indicated that the striking duo will remain part of team for a long period, despite the fact that the Danish coach has always insisted that he prefers players who feel proud to play for the national team.
And the TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura said that Samatta and Ulimwengu are among 22 players picked by the coach ready to enter into camp on Sunday at the TANSOMA Hotel in the city. Apart from the duo, Kim has retained almost all players who were called for the friendly encounter against Zambia.
First choice goalkeeper Juma Kaseja (Simba) will retain his position as the team captain while other players picked in the list are Aishi Manula, Mwadini Ally, Aggrey Morris (Azam), Amir Maftah (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Issa Rashid (Mtibwa Sugar), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Nadir Haroub (Yanga) and Shomari Kapombe (Simba).
The midfielders are Salum Abubakar (Azam), Athuman Idd (Yanga), Amri Kiemba (Simba), Khamis Mcha (Azam), Frank Domayo (Yanga), Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba) and Shabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar). The striking list includes John Bocco (Azam), Mrisho Ngasa (Simba), Simon Msuva (Yanga), Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe - DR Congo).
Apart from Poulsen, the technical bench has Sylvester Marsh as assistant coach, Juma Pondamali (goalkeepers coach), Leopold Tasso Mukebezi (team manager), Dk Mwanandi Mwankemwa (physician), Frank Mhonda (physical education specialist) and Alfred Chimela (kit manager).
Meanwhile, the Confederation for African Football (CAF) has assigned Tanzania's Leslie Liunda to inspect venues and accommodations in Ethiopia before issuing licence for Ethiopia's clubs to compete in various competitions organized by the continental soccer body. Liunda is expected to fly out to Ethiopia today and take up that assignment until January 6, after which he will handle the report to CAF.