Dar es Salaam. Taifa Stars head coach Kim Poulsen has dropped five key players for Fifa’s 2022 World Cup qualifying match against DR Congo, which will be played in Lubumbashi tomorrow.
The players, including prolific striker John Bocco (Simba SC), have been left out owing to various reasons including injuries.
Stars flew to the DR Congo’s city yesterday exuding confidence of upsetting their hosts on their home turf.
Other notable players who will miss the match are Bakari Mwamnyeto, Ramadhan Kabwili and Zawadi Mauya who ply their trade for Young Africans (Yanga) and Azam FC’s new signing Edward Manyama. Players who left the country last evening to tackle The Leopards are Aishi Manula, Metacha Mnata and Wilbol Maseke who are goalkeepers.
Defenders are Shomari Kapombe, Mohammed Hussein, Israel Mwenda, Erasto Nyoni and Kennedy Juma.
Other defenders are Dickson Job, Lusajo Mwaikenda and Nickson Kibabage.
In the midfield, Poulsen picked Ayoub Lyanga, Mudathir Yahya, Idd Suleiman, Meshack Mwamita, Novatus Dismas, Feisal Salum, Mzamiru Yassin and Abdul Hamis Suleiman. Stars strike force will be led by Simon Msuva and captain Mbwana Samatta, who is expected to jet into Lubumbashi today from Turkey.
Apart from DR Congo, Taifa Stars, who are placed in Group J, will also play Madagascar on September 7 and later take on Benin between October 6 and 9.
Meanwhile, Mali, ranked 10th in Africa, are among the eight countries that have been barred from hosting 2022 World Cup qualifiers after failing CAF venue inspections.
Other nations, who must use neutral grounds for home fixture between September 1-8 are Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Namibia and Niger.