Afcon: Tanzania set to become first country to arrive Egypt

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Tanzania get together for a team picture during the 2019 Afcon Qualifiers against Uganda on 08 September 2018 at Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala
Emmanuel Amuneke’s men will depart Dar es Salaam for Cairo on Friday for the continental tournament

Tanzania are set to become the first country to arrive in Egypt for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which will commence on June 21.

The Taifa Stars will depart their training base in Dar es Salaam for Cairo on Friday, as they continue their preparation for the tournament.

Coach Emmanuel Amuneke has named a 39-man provisional squad for the competition, including a 15-year-old Kelvin John Pius, which he will prune down to 23.

On June 13, the East Africans will play host country Egypt in a friendly game, before they square up against Zimbabwe three days later in their final build-up match.

Tanzania Football Federation media officer Clifford Ndimbo explained the Taifa Stars' itinerary.

"We are heading there early because it is the coach who planned for that," Ndimbo told the Nation Sport.

"The two friendlies are very important to enable the coach select his final 23-man squad from the travelling contingent of 32.

“We have high expectations from this tournament and are hoping to at least get out of the group and progress to the round of 16."

"Just like the matches involving Gor Mahia against Simba, our game against Kenya will be tough but entertaining as well. We are confident but it is a tough call."

The Taifa Stars have been paired along with West African giants Senegal, Kenya and Algeria in Group C.

They will kick off their campaign in the biennial tournament against the Terenga Lions on June 23.

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