11 July 2013

Tanzania: CAF Axe Stars, Cranes Official

THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has replaced match official Jean Claude Birumushahu with fellow Burundian Herve Kakunze for Tanzania's Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Uganda.

Birumushahu was appointed to officiate at Saturday's encounter as assistant referee one alongside Burundian counterparts Thierry Nkurunziza and Pascal Ndimunzigo as central and assistant referee two respectively. According to a statement released by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Birumushahu, who is FIFA-badge referee, has been axed after he failed his fitness test conducted in Burundi earlier this week.

The match commissioner will be Gebreyesus Tesfaye, who also is the Chairman of the Eritrea FA and CHAN Organising Committee member. The four match officials are expected to jet in the country today ahead of the muchawaited fixture to be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, TFF has confirmed that Taifa Stars opponents, Uganda Cranes will arrive in Dar es Salaam today despite conceding that they have not been contacted with their Ugandan counterparts FUFA regarding the Cranes' impending arrival. However, reports from Kampala said that the Cranes have lined up a build-up game with the U-23 side today at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

After failing to secure international friendly games against Iraq, Rwanda and Ethiopia, the Cranes head coach, Micho, has opted to test his squad against the youngsters. In another development, Taifa Stars sponsor, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, urged Tanzanians to put the disappointments of missing out on World Cup finals behind them and rally behind the Stars as the team attempts to reach the CHAN finals.

Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand Manager, George Kavishe made the remarks during a special dinner the sponsor organized for Taifa Stars in their Dar es Salaam camp in preparation for the double-header against the Cranes.

Kavishe reminded the Stars players that Saturday's game is crucial in their bid to reach the 2014 CHAN finals in South Africa and urged them to make sure they win the first leg at home as well as the return fixture away in Kampala in two weeks time.

"We could not go to Brazil now let's go to South Africa next year," Kavishe charged the Stars players. He said the company is impressed with the progress the Taifa Stars have made on and off the pitch since TBL, through its Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand, took over as the team's main sponsors last year, adding that they remained committed to the development of the team and individual players.

The KPL Brand Manager used the occasion to present each Taifa Stars player with a DVD of personal profile, a project which was funded and supervised by the sponsor. He said the DVDs will help the players raise their status and promote themselves worldwide on YouTube.

Speaking during the occasion, Taifa Stars head coach Kim Poulsen was grateful to sponsor TBL's support, which he said, has made their preparations possible and ideal. Poulsen said they have prepared well and his players were in good condition and raring to go.

The CHAN tournament is held every two years, alternating with the African Cup of Nations. The qualifying phase has taken place every even year and the final every odd year.

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