Dar es Salaam. Football stakeholders in the country have given a nod to the decision made by national soccer team, Taifa Stars, technical bench to axe two key players, Ibrahim Ajibu and Jonas Mkude, for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held in Egypt.
There were mixed reactions among the football stakeholders after Taifa Stars head coach, Emmanuel Amunike, dropped the players.
Some football fans disapproved the decision, arguing that their playing levels were high, as a number of other stakeholders gave a thump up to the move.
Apart from Ajibu, other players who have been axed are Ali Ali of Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC), Kennedy Wilson (Singida United), Kassim Hamis (Kagera Sugar), Ayoub Lyanga (Coastal Union) and Simba Sports Club versatile player Shomari Kapombe.
Former Taifa Stars player Mohamed “Adolph” Rishad told The Citizen that only the head coach in the technical bench had the mandate to select the players, who, he thinks, will bring positive results.
Adolph who featured in the 1980 Afcon finals held in Lagos, Nigeria, said the coach, apart from training a team, normally selects committed players using many criteria.
“Critics are anywhere, but the coach is the one who supervises the training of players and closely monitors them.
No one except the technical bench deals with the players. I call upon soccer fans, let the coach do his job. Stop interfering,” said Adolph.
Lipuli Football Club head coach Seleman Matola said the final selection of the team is under the head coach.
“I am a coach and do the same when it happens we travel to another region to play a league match.
So, Amunike has selected the cream of players, who, he believes, will make the country proud,” said Matola.
Matola said as a coach, you cannot select players who will let you down in the competition.
“I cannot select players who are not committed and indisciplined. That is to put yourself into a pit hole,” said Matola.