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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Tanzania coach explains reason to axe Manula

10:40 pm AEDT 12/11/19
Aishi Manula of Tanzania
The Taifa Stars assistant coach reveals why the custodian has been left out of the squad for the upcoming matches

Tanzania assistant coach Juma Mgunda has explained the reason keeper Aishi Manula was axed from the squad for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Simba SC custodian was among the players who did not make it to the provisional squad of 27 players named by coach Ettiene Ndayiragije ahead of their two qualifiers against Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

Manula's omission forced him to tell reporters that he does not harbour any bad feelings towards coach Ndayiragije for taking the decision.

“I don’t have any complains because the selection was done by the coach, so I am okay with that,” Manula told reporters on Monday.

“The decision will not stop me from playing and doing what I love doing most. I know I am 100 per cent fit and will continue to play for my team.

“I am fully behind the coach and the players in camp and I want to wish the team all the best as they embark on the journey of returning to Afcon finals.”

But responding to the decision to axe the keeper, Mgunda now says the keeper will be considered for the team when the right time comes.

“Players to serve in the national team are not selected due to their popularity but rather on the demands within the team,” Mgunda explained as quoted by Daily News.

“At the moment, the squad is complete. It is just a matter of time for him to be recalled. Remember in the previous matches, he was being called while others were left behind.”

The Taifa Stars, who have been drawn in Group J of the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, begin their campaign on Friday when they entertain Equatorial Guinea at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.