Tanzania's Ndayiragije reveal difficulties in selecting players for Burundi friendly

Tanzania “Taifa Stars” coach Etienne Ndayiragije.
Taifa Stars.
The Burundian tactician admits he will have difficulties to pick a Taifa Stars squad for the upcoming friendly

Tanzania coach Etienne Ndayiragije has revealed he will face tough decisions in selecting foreign players for the friendly against Burundi.

On Tuesday, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) confirmed the Taifa Stars will host Burundi in an international friendly game on October 11, and went further to reveal the national team squad will be named on October 2 ahead of the match set to be played at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

The two teams are preparing for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November and will use the game to gauge their players.

Taifa Stars coach Ndayiragije had now admitted he will find it hard to pick players who trade outside the country as he has not seen their recent performance due to effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As you know, most players stayed for a long time without playing due to the Covid-19 pandemic as such, I have not seen their recent levels of performance and that is the tricky part I see,” Ndayiragije is quoted by Daily News.

“But, for those who are trading in the domestic league, I have no problem at all because I have seen them playing and there are major improvements in the individual performance of players.”

On whether he has settled on strikers who can help the Taifa Stars score goals, Ndayiragije said: “What I’m looking for, is to create a good pattern of play in the team especially considering the fact that we have limited time to prepare for the upcoming high profile matches.

“This is the national team. We select players basing on their recent performances regardless, which team they come from. Nobody is bigger than the team. “There are other players whose performance levels have dropped but that is not a setback at all because many others have upgraded their work rates and are ready to fight for the country.”

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The Taifa Stars started their Afcon campaign in Group J with a 2-1 win against Equatorial Guinea before falling by the same margin away to Libya.

Tunisia have a 100% winning record and are topping the group with six points, twice as many as Libya and the Taifa Stars, who are in the second and third places, respectively. Equatorial Guinea are bottom of the group with no points.

The first two teams will play in the next Afcon to be held in Cameroon.