WHILE the national soccer team Taifa Stars depart today for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ready for Friday's friendly match against the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) bound side, it has been revealed that only two Yanga players will be available for the game.
Yanga who have pitched camp in Turkey to shape up for the final round of the Mainland Premier League have decided to keep three out of five players picked by Taifa Stars coach Kim Poulsen for the friendly against Ethiopia.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Information Officer, Boniface Wambura, said that Poulsen had a lengthy chat with Yanga coach Dutch Ernie Brandts and they have agreed in principle that only defender Kelvin Yondani and holding midfielder Frank Domayo will be joining Stars.
He said midfielder Athumani Iddy 'Chuji', striker Simon Msuva and defender Nadir Haroub Ally 'Cannavaro' will remain in Turkey and will return in the country on Monday with the rest of Yanga squad. Wambura said Yondani and Domayo were expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday night ready for the trip to Addis Ababa.
"If they will fail to arrive as planned then they will have to fly direct to Addis Ababa," said Wambura. He said 16 Stars players will leave this evening ready for the friendly, which will be part of the team's trial games ahead of the World Cup qualifier match against Morocco in March 22, while for Ethiopia, the game is their final trial before heading for the AFCON finals set to start in South Africa on January 19.
Ethiopia is in the same group with the AFCON defending Champions, Zambia who played Taifa Stars and lost 0-1 to the local side at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last month. Yanga's rivals Simba have released all their players selected in the team ready for Addis Ababa trip after agreeing with the TFF that the federation will foot tickets cost for their players from Addis Ababa to Oman, where they will join Simba camp after the match against Ethiopia.
Wambura named players who will make the trip to Addis today as Juma Kaseja (Simba), Aishi Manula (Azam FC). Defenders are Aggrey Morris and Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Issa Rashid (Mtibwa Sugar) and Shomari Kapombe (Simba). Midfielders are Salum Abubakar and Khamis Mcha (Azam), Amri Kiemba and Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba) and Shabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar), while strikers are Mbwana Samata, Thomas Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe - DR Congo) and Mrisho Ngasa (Simba).