Taifa Stars gear up for 2023 AFCON with Egypt Friendly and European talents in squad

The preparations for the 2023 African Cup of Nations are in full swing as the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) finalizes the details for an international friendly match against Egypt on January 7.

This friendly encounter is slated to unfold in Egypt, serving as a pivotal training ground before the team’s departure to Ivory Coast, the host nation for the upcoming tournament.

Notably, this isn’t the first time these two teams have engaged in a friendly, having done so in the lead-up to the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

Commencing in Dar on Monday, Taifa Stars’ training camp kicked off with an initial phase that includes a friendly match against Zanzibar Heroes before the squad embarks on their journey to Egypt over the weekend.

Drawn into Group F for the African Cup of Nations, Tanzania will face formidable opponents in the form of Morocco, DR Congo, and Zambia. Interestingly, both Morocco and Zambia are also part of Tanzania’s qualifying group for the 2026 World Cup.

The town of San-Pédro, located 350 km from Abidjan, is the designated venue for Taifa Stars’ group stage matches.

Their tournament debut is scheduled for January 17, at 6:00 p.m., where they will lock horns with Morocco, a team they have encountered on five previous occasions.

Subsequent matches include a showdown against Zambia on January 21 and a group stage finale against DR Congo on January 24.

Teams finishing as group winners and runners-up, along with the best four third-placed teams, will progress to the round of 16.

In a recent development, the Tanzania Football Federation submitted a preliminary 55-man squad to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The final 27-man roster is set to be disclosed on January 3, precisely ten days before the tournament’s kick-off.

The preliminary squad boasts a mix of experience, with key players such as Mbwana Samatta, and introduces new talents with Tanzanian roots playing in European leagues.

Notable inclusions are Amahl Pellegrino, the leading goal scorer in the Norwegian topflight with FK Bodø/Glimt, as well as Adam Nditi, Zion Nditi (Aldershot Town), Roberto Nditi (Forfar Athletic), Ayoub Bilal (FK Gorazde), Tarryn Allarakhia (Wealdstone), Miano Danilo, Twariq Ahmed (Telford United), Mark John (Kingstone), Mohammed Ali (Boreham Wood), and Adam Kasa (IFK Haninge).

Tanzania secured qualification for the 34th edition of the African Cup of Nations by clinching the second spot in Group F qualifiers with eight points, trailing behind Algeria, who dropped merely two points in six games.

Taifa Stars achieved two victories, against Uganda (0-1) and Niger (1-0), while also securing two draws away from home against Niger (1-1) and Algeria (0-0).

Their journey also included two home losses against Algeria (0-2) and Uganda (0-1).

Source: TMICHEZO Sports



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