Cote d’Ivoire – Tanzania Preview: The Elephants are eager to confirm their continental status

Cote d’Ivoire will be looking to impose their will on the Taifa Stars to begin with a good advantage before facing their major Group C opponent, Morocco


Kolo, Gosso, Souleman, Tiene
Gradel, Bony, Tiote, Yaya
Drogba, Gervinho


Cholo, Morris, Maftah, Nyomi
Kazimoto, Salum, Nurdin, Mkude
Mbwana, Ulimwengu

With many Ivorians still holding grudges against the football federation for dismissing former coach Francois Zahoui and replacing him with an “unknown” expatriate Sabri Lamouchi, officials will find it hard to mobilise supporters for the World Cup qualifier of June 2 against Tanzania in Abidjan.

However, this will be Didier Drogba’s first appearance at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium after he won the Uefa Champions League with Chelsea this month, which could motivate his fans to troop out to see their hero.

The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finalists’ recent 2-1 win over Mali in a friendly match played in France is an indication that the squad is still in form and zealous to maintain their status as the number one team on the continent. Statistically, the Taifa Stars may not be a big threat for the Ivorians, but pundits will likely use the meeting to judge the style of the new coach and try to predict the future of the team across the campaign.

Tanzania have never qualified to the finals of a Fifa World Cup, and are one of the lowly teams of Group C after Gambia. Playing the giant Elephants in Abidjan seems to be an uphill battle, but what coach Kim Poulsen appears to be aiming at is their second outing against Gambia on June 10 in Dar Es Salaam.

Tanzania will do their best to stand up against the Ivorian challenge but without worries of reproof if they fail.


  • Cote d’Ivoire captain Didier Drogba has launched the building of his £3 million (€3.7m) hospital project in Abidjan, meant to cater for the less privileged.

  • Drogba says he will hang up his boots after the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

  • Roughly four out of every five Ivorians feel the choice of the new coach Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi was a big mistake.

  • At a press conference on Friday in Abidjan, most of the Ivorian players said they had not got over the shock from their loss to Zambia on penalties in the final of the 2012 Afcon.

  • Tanzania midfielder Nurdin Bakari and striker Thomas Ulimwengu have been sidelined for the match.

  • TP Mazembe forward Mbwana Samata and John Bocco of Azam FC are likely to replace the injured players.
  • Tanzania is a member of Cecafa, the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations.