Kaseja surprised by omission from Kilimanjaro Stars squad

07Dec 2019
Michael Mwebe
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Kaseja surprised by omission from Kilimanjaro Stars squad

GOALKEEPER Juma Kaseja has been surprised by his omission from the Mainland Tanzania soccer team’s final squad for the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup 2019 by head coach, Juma Mgunda, but said he respects the decision.

Kaseja, who also turns out for Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC) FC, has played for Tanzania’s senior national team in last nine matches but he, on Thursday, was left out of Kilimanjaro Stars’ travelling contingent to Kampala, Uganda.

Simba SC goalkeeper Aishi Manula took Kaseja’s place in the squad while Young Africans (Yanga) keeper Metacha Mnata and Gor Mahia’s David Kissu also made the cut from the provisional squad which initially included 32 names.

Kaseja appeared to question Tanzania Football Federation TFF) Media officer Clifford Ndimbo’s explanation for the decision to exclude the keeper, in which the official said that the keeper is still injured and not fully healthy.

Ndimbo said Kaseja had reported to camp while carrying a knee injury and, after the technical bench was satisfied that he needed more recovery time, he was pulled out of the final squad.

On his part, Kaseja responded by saying if officials think he is unfit he has to respect that decision as they are in better position to make that call.

“You might want to play but at the end of the day you have to listen to what officials say because they are better qualified to handle such matters. They know better than us,” he noted.

“I would like to play for the Mainland Tanzania team but it’s the coach’s decision and I have to respect it. The selected players are good and I believe they will fight for the nation,’’ he said.

Sources at KMC FC indicate that Kaseja is battling a troublesome knee injury that has forced him to miss the outfit’s last two league matches of the ongoing Vodacom Premier League.

He was unused substitute in KMC FC’s last league match against Yanga where Burundian Jonathan Nahimana was preferred between the posts.

Against Mwanza’s Mbao, Kaseja did not make it in the match day squad. Instead Nahimana kept goal while third choice goalkeeper, Dennis Richard, was on the bench.

Kaseja was last seen in action when KMC FC took on Alliance FC in Mwanza and the keeper, who previously played for several outfits which include Simba SC and Yanga, conceded two goals in KMC FC’s 2-1 loss in the league match, which took place on November 22.

Kilimanjaro Stars are in Group B of the Senior Challenge Cup alongside Zanzibar, Sudan and defending champions Kenya.
Kilimanjaro Stars will open their campaign tomorrow with a tricky duel against defending champions Kenya.

Kilimanjaro Stars Full Squad
Goalkeepers: Metacha Mnata (Yanga), David Kissu (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Aishi Manula (Simba SC)

Defenders: Juma Abdul (Yanga), Nickson Kibabage (Difaa el Jadidi, Morocco), Gadiel Michael (Simba SC), Mwaita Gereza (Kagera Sugar), Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Bakari Mwamnyeto (Coastal Union), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga)

Midfielders: Baraka Majogoro (Police Tanzania), Jonas Mkude (Simba), Zawadi Mauya (Kagera Sugar), Mzamiru Yassin (Simba SC), Cleophas Mkandala (Prisons) and Hassan Dilunga (Simba SC)

Forwards: Paul Nonga (Lipuli) Miraji Athuman (Simba SC), Eliuter Mpepo (Buildcon, Zambia), Lucas Kikoti (Namungo) Ditram Nchimbi (Police Tanzania), and Rashid Chambo (IK Frej Taby, Sweden)