TAIFA Stars skipper Mbwana Samatta and striker Simon Msuva have been ruled out of the international friendly match against Malawi set at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.
Team Manager Nadir Haroub said yesterday that Samatta has family issues to take care of, while Msuva has a CAF Champions League (CAF CL) engagement as his side Wydad Casablanca of Morroco is preparing to face Kaizer Chiefs in the semifinals.
He added that they decided to recall Yohana Mkomola, who plays for Ukrainian side Inhulets Petrove to replace injured Braison Nkulula, while insisting that morale in the camp was ceiling high.
"He (Nkulula) joined the squad with injury and after a thorough examination from doctors, they concluded that he was not ready to play against Malawi 'The Flames' and this is why, Mkomola replaced him. "Everyone is working hard to get a chance of playing in the game but it will be the responsibility of the coach to select who to play," said Haroub.
He further said they now have a 24-member squad, which is drilling hard for the friendly encounter of which he remarked that it will be a tough match for both sides.
About Novatus Dismas, who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv-Israel, the manager said he has no information regarding his absence in the camp.
"This friendly match is very important since we have World Cup qualifiers coming ahead and our group which has got DR Congo, Benin and Madagascar is tough that is why we need to play many matches to test our strength and know weakness of the team. "If we really want to reach in the finals of the World Cup, we have to start preparations now, so that by September, we should be ready for the qualifiers," he said.
To fans, the manager called them to come in their big number to rally behind their team, saying without them (fans), they cannot perform well.
"I believe that when players will see the stadium packed to brim, they will work hard for victory, which is what they deserve," said the former Taifa Stars captain and defender.
The full squad which Head Coach Kim Poulsen called for Malawi duel comprised: Aishi Manula (Simba), Metacha Mnata (Young Africans), Juma Kaseja (KMC), Shomari Kapombe (Simba) and Israel Mwenda (KMC).
Others are Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Simba), Bakari Mwamnyeto (Young Africans), Kennedy Juma (Simba), Dickson Job (Young Africans), Nickson Kibabage (Youssoufla FC-Morocco), Simon Msuva (Wydad Casablanca-Morocco) and Mudathir Yahya (Azam FC).
The squad also has Mzamiru Yassin (Simba), Feisal Salum (Young Africans), Salum Abubakar (Azam), Braison Nkulula (Azam), Iddy Suleiman (Azam), Mbwana Samatta (Fenerbahce-Turkey) and John Bocco (Simba).
Also, the list also has Abdul Suleiman (Coastal Union), Ayoub Lyanga (Azam), Denis Kibu (Mbeya City) Meshack Abraham (Gwambina FC), Novatus Dismas (Maccabi Tel Aviv-Israel) and Yusuf Mhilu (Kagera Sugar).