Kessy cleared for AFCON finals opener   

22Jun 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Kessy cleared for AFCON finals opener   

TAIFA Stars’ right fullback, Hassan Kessy, has been given greenlight by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to feature for the side in their opening match in the AFCON Finals against Senegal, slated to take place at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo, Egypt tomorrow.

TAIFA Stars’ right fullback, Hassan Kessy.


In a statement released by Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), the continental governing body has allowed Kessy to take part in the match after the body had concluded the suspension he had in the qualifiers has already ended.

Kessy was shown two yellow cards in the qualifiers and the booking was expected to force him out of the opening match.

The defender’s suspension, though had ended after the AFCON Qualifiers match against Cape Verde, which took place in Dar es Salaam.

Taifa Stars head coach, Emmanuel Amunike, therefore, can use the player in the match, should the latter be in the former’s program.

The defender was shown two yellow cards in Taifa Stars’ two away matches versus Uganda Cranes and Cape Verde, a suspension that ended after he had missed out on Taifa Stars’ return leg against Cape Verde.

Taifa Stars are in Group C of the continental showdown alongside Senegal, Algeria and Kenya.

The Tanzania squad, which is competing at the AFCON finals for the first time after 38 years of absence, will start the group games against Senegal tomorrow.

The team will then Kenya before winding up the group stage by confronting Algeria.

Skipper Mbwana Samatta, speaking shortly before Taifa Stars’ trip to Egypt, assured Tanzanians that the squad is ready for the finals.

"We are ready for the AFCON finals, everyone is looking forward to games, others may think that we will not do well, but the fact is that we are ready and am sure of good results,” he said.

Coach Amunike has assembled a very good side which is expected to compete and not simply making numbers.

Taifa Stars have such players like Samatta, who plays in Belgium and Simon Msuva and Hassan Kessy, who play in Morocco and Zambia respectively.

The team is also made up of experienced and that include Kelvin Yondani and John Bocco.

Taifa Stars technical bench hopes the team can perform well in the opening match and the remaining two encounters with Kenya and Algeria.

The squad’s players have been training on the pitch and learning a variety of tactics via watching videos of the opponents’ previous assignments.

Taifa Stars had been camping in Egypt from June 7 to focus on intensive preparations for the showpiece.