5 February 2013

Tanzania: Barca's Song Out of Stars Clash

BARCELONA midfielder Alex Song will not feature in Cameroon international friendly match against the national soccer team, Taifa Stars due on Wednesday at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The Taifa Stars welcome the former African champions, Cameroon for a high-profile build-up match at the 60,000-seater arena this Wednesday, which is FIFA date for international friendlies.

Reports in Spain say that the former Arsenal player has a knee discomfort and will sit out of the match as a precautionary measure. Song was expected to jet into Dar es Salaam today morning to link up with the rest of his teammates according to Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).

The Indomitable Lions have started streaming in batches ahead of the eagerly anticipated clash with Kim Poulsen's side.According to a press release from the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), the first batch jetted in on Sunday night and the second contingent arrived on Monday morning.

The second batch, which comprised of two players namely; Herve Tchami and Jean Paul Yontcha as well as team doctor Boubakary Sidik, arrived in Dar es Salaam at around 1100hrs. Meanwhile, skipper Samuel Eto'o, who was listed for the second batch, delayed his arrival so was head coach Jean Paul Akono and his assistant Martin Ndtoungou.

TFF official, Idd Mshangama, who was at the Nyerere International Airport to welcome the Cameroon delegation, said the trio was, however, expected last night alongside other members of the squad. The final batch that includes four players namely; Jean Kana Biyick, Fabrice Olinga, Allan Nyom, Henri Bedimo are expected on Tuesday.

Taifa Stars preparations for the encounter received a considerable boost with the arrival DR Congo based strikers Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu on Sunday. TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura confirmed said the duo has joined the rest of the national team players at their Tansoma Hotel camp, ahead of the much-awaited game.

Meanwhile, Kigoma North legislator Zitto Kabwe is eagerly anticipating the forthcoming international friendly against the Indomitable Lions and has apparently challenged Taifa Stars players to put in a spirited performance. Kabwe, who is a member of the Finance Committee at the Premier League side, Simba, was speaking to journalists who caught up with him at Nyerere International Airport.

He suggested that it was a great opportunity for Taifa Stars players to test themselves against world class players in the Cameroon squad and believes the match would help improve Kim Poulsen's boys ahead of their 2014 World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifying bid. He lamented the fact that Tanzanian football has struggled to record any notable success at the international scene for decades but envisaged a bright future for the country's game, saying there were signs of improvement on and off the pitch.

The mouth-watering encounter will be part of the preparation of Kim Poulsen's Taifa Stars for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Tanzania are in group C, together with Morocco, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. They host the former in March 24.

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