19 January 2013

Tanzania: Kim to Spy Ivory Coast, Morocco

THE national soccer team Taifa Stars head coach --Kim Poulsen - left yesterday afternoon for South Africa in time to be in attendance in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals matches especially those which involve Ivory Coast and Morocco.

Stars are in the same group as the two countries in the Rio de Janeiro 2014 World Cup qualifier and the Dane would like to see his opponents play live.

"He left yesterday afternoon to have first hand details and observation on his opponent. Definitely, he will have enough time to see and assess his opponents ahead of their respective matches," Wambura said.

Stars, which are sponsored by the Tanzania Breweries Limited through its Kilimanjaro Premium Lager flagship, will play against Morocco at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on March 24, this year. Taifa Stars need to win their next encounter against Morocco for them to remain in contention for a place in the World Cup to be staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next year.

Taifa Stars lost 2-0 away to Cote d'Ivoire in their opening Group C match mid last year, but managed to bounce back with a 2-1 win over Gambia at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam to keep qualification hopes alive.

Momodou Ceesay gave Gambia the lead in the first half, but the hosts bounced back in the second half as goals from defenders Shomari Kapombe and Erasto Nyoni earned Poulsen his first win in charge of the Stars. Tanzania are second in the group on three points, while Gambia are at the bottom of the group.

Ivory Coast are on top of the group with four points and Morocco are on third with two points. Ivory Coast and Morocco played out a 2-2 draw. Kim left to South Africa at the backdrop of good news that Taifa Stars have scaled up six places in the World football rankings to start the year in 124th position.

According to the latest release issued Thursday by world football governing body, FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, Tanzania tallied 264 points, a 11-point increase from last December's 253. Tanzania closed the 2012 with an improved four places in the ranking and the latest improvement will be a good news Kim as they prepare for their 2014 World Cup qualifier matches. The country also scaled two places on the continent to rest on 36th place.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has picked two Tanzanian referees, Leslie Liunda and Alfred Lwiza to be commissioners of CAF Champions League matches. Lwiza has been picked as a Commissioner for match that will pit Rwanda's APR and Vital'O of Burundi to be played in Kigali, Rwanda between February 15 and 17.

Liunda will be in charge of the match between Tusker FC of Kenya and St. Michel United of Seychelles to be played in Nairobi, Kenya between March 1 and 3. In another development Wambura said CAF Champions League match between Mainland champiosn Simba SC and Clube Recreation Libolo of Angola at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on February 17 will be officiated by South African referees.

The officials are Daniel Volgraaff (central) Enock Molefe, Lindikhaya Bolo and Lwandile Mfiki. Match Commissioner will be Emmanuel Lesita from Lesotho. CAF has also picked four Tanzanians to officiate at Champions League match between URA of Uganda and Cotton Sport of Cameroon to be played in Kampala, Uganda between March 1 and 3.

Orden Mbaga will be central referee and he will be assisted by Jesse Erasmo and Hamis Chang'walu. Israel Mujuni Nkongo will be the fourth official while the match commissioner will be Souleiman Waberi from Djibouti.

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