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Saturday, 20 July, 2002, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Taifa stars in crisis
Tanzania's Taifa Stars win the Castle Cup
Tanzania celebrate their victory in the Castle Cup

Tanzania's national team the Taifa Stars are in a state of disarray as they prepare for the first African Nations Cup qualifiers in September.

An on-going coaching crisis and a row between the sport's administrators and top clubs threatens to end their hopes of qualifying for the Nations Cup finals for the first time in 22 years.

The dispute between the FAv and the Simba and Yanga clubs means some of the country's top players have been left out of the national team.

Head coach Salum Madad will name his squad next month for the qualifiers against Benin, Zambia and Sudan.

James Siang'a
Siang'a resigned in May
But as he does so he's faced with stinging criticism of his own coaching ability.

Madad is the country's third coach in a year and was only appointed in May after the FA disbanded the national team following a run of poor results.

But Madad is only a local coach with not international exposure and many believe the team's chances of qualifying for the Nations Cup with him in charge are remote.

It's a far cry from 10 months ago when the Taifa Stars won the Castle Cup against difficult opposition like DR Congo, Kenya and Uganda.

In December 2001, the same team also reached the quarterfinals of the CECAFA tournament in Rwanda.

At the time the team was under the guidance of Syllersaid Mziray and Charles Boniface Mkwasa, while German Burkhard Pape was a technical adviser.

Change of coaches

Despite their success, the coaches all lost their jobs after returning from Kigali.

Pape's contract was terminated with no reason given and Mshindo Msolla was appointed to replace Mziray and Mkwasa.

The move triggered an outcry from the public and the press, with many believing Msolla was not up to the job.

He had only coached lowly Premier League side, Reli FC, and had never won a title. Kenyan James Siang'a was appointed his assistant.

Many believe that Pape, who lead Uganda to the African Cup of Nations finals in 1978, was sacked because of his outspokenness.

He often complained that he never received any support from the FA and accused the organisation of being incompetent.

The fall of Msolla and Siang'a

Msolla and Siang'a began work in April 2002, their first assignment was to lead the team through a series of international friendlies to build up to the CAN qualifying matches.

The team recorded just one win in five matches.

After a 5-0 drubbing by Kenya Msolla and Saing'a quit as national coaches citing sabotage by the players.

FAT secretary general Michael Wambura said after accepting the resignations, that he also believed the players did not put up a fight.

At the same time Wambura admitted that the association did not have a good relationship with Simba and Yanga, the teams that had most players in the national team.

He claimed that the clubs had conspired with their players to under-perform as a way of punishing the FA.

Within days the FAT executive committee disbanded the national team and declared that Simba and Yanga players would never be allowed to play for the national team.

Madad was then brought in to form and coach a new national team without some of the country's top players.

His provisional squad was made up of many new names from lowly clubs, leaving many fans disheartened that their side could qualify for the Cup of Nations Final for the first time since 1980.

See also:

10 Jan 02 | Cup of Nations
02 Mar 02 | Africa
14 Dec 01 | Africa
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