TUNIS, Tunisia, November 15 – Two footballers have been rushed through Tunisian naturalisation processes in a bid to boost the country’s World Cup qualification hopes, the country’s football federation said.
Swiss-based Stephane Nater and Belgium-based Fabien Camus, both of whom were born in France and hold French nationality, are expected to line up against Cameroon in Yaounde in the second leg of the World Cup play-off clash that saw the first leg end in a 0-0 draw in Tunis.
“After a lengthy suspense and at the end of Thursday, November 14, the two Tunisian players, Stephane Houcine Nater and Fabien Camus, have finally obtained Tunisian nationality,” the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) said in a statement.
“Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has signed documents allowing Nater and Camus to benefit from Tunisian nationality and despite the late hour, the FTF began the operation to prepare identity documents and passports for the two players.”
Contacted by AFP, FIFA would not confirm whether or not the two players would actually be eligible to play on Sunday.
“From a general perspective, it is up to the federation that wants to pick a player for one of its representative teams to ensure the player in question is eligible,” said a FIFA spokesperson.
Nater, who began his career in Liechtenstein, currently plays for St Gallen in Switzerland, where he also holds nationality.
Camus, who began his career at French giants Marseille, plays for Genk.
He has a Tunisian mother and has actually already played for Tunisia, in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2009.
NAIROBI, Kenya, November 15 – Tanzania head coach Kim Poulsen has called-up 32 in the squad to face Harambee Stars on Tuesday at the Dar es Salaam National Stadium as build-up for the forthcoming Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
The team comprises 16 players each from the senior and development sides of Tanzania with Stars Belgian head coach, Adel Amrouche, yet to name his team for the match.
Gor Mahia goal keeper, Ivo Mapunda is among the Taifa Stars call-ups as he prepares for the GOtv Shield final on Sunday.
Both sides landed tough pools in the Cecafa draw conducted Thursday in Nairobi.
Stars will face Walia Antelopes of Ethiopia in the opening match of Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup on November 27 at Nyayo National Stadium.
The hosts will then face Zanzibar and South Sudan in Group A following the conducting of the tournament draw that pooled defending champions Uganda in a potential group of death alongside Rwanda, Sudan and Eritrea.
Tanzania play Zambia, Burundi and Somalia in Group B.
Speaking while announcing the draw, Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, said other preliminary matches will be played in Nairobi and Machakos in a day to be announced later.
“Last year we denied Kenya to host the tournament because we were preserving to have the competition here, when celebrating 50th independence anniversary and those who thought I was malicious to take it to Uganda they didn’t know what I had in mind, so I’m happy I have been vindicated.
“With only 10 days remaining, I want to assure those who were very suspicious whether this tournament will take place or not, that it will be successful because we have held this competition under very difficult circumstances elsewhere.
“If Cecafa and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) fail to host this year’s edition, we would have failed Kenyans and the region, so I want all of us to commit ourselves,” the tough talking Musonye stated.
Addressing at the same function, Machakos County Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua, confirmed Kenyatta Stadium that will officially be opened in a week’s time ready to co-host some of the matches.
“We are very excited about the tournament coming to Machakos because we are ready.
“We have transformed a dusty ground into a stadium within one month and we do expect by the time the games begin, we will have a very solid Stadium because we support football not only at the international level but also within our counties,” the performing Governor confirmed.
“To ensure that we get our people to the stadium, we are going to support FKF and the regional body in buying substantial amounts of tickets for our fans,” he concluded.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Dr. Hassan Wario, assured the organizers full support from the Government.
“Our President Uhuru Kenyatta is interested in finishing the Stadium, so Kisumu should be ready to host the tournament because we released Sh3.6 m (USD 41666.76) to ensure the artificial turf is in the lake side City,” Wario added.
With the international friendly window open, Stars are yet to play Taifa Stars of Tanzania next week in preparation for the regional showpiece, as they seek to clinch the regional title after 11 years.
Kenya will face stiff challenge from Ethiopia who are in Calabar for their second leg World Cup play–off against African champions Nigeria.
Uganda will play Rwanda on Saturday in Namboole before they meet once again in the senior challenge since they are pooled in the same Group.
Coca-Cola, GOtv, Super-Sport and UAP insurance are the only partners to come on board in support for the regional tournament.
KEEPERS: Aishi Manula (Azam), Ally Mustafa (Yanga), Deogratias Munishi (Yanga) na Ivo Mapunda (Gor Mahia, Kenya).
DEFENDERS: Mabeki ni Aggrey Morris (Azam), Ismail Gambo (Azam), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Michael Pius (Ruvu Shooting), Nadir Haroub (Yanga), Said Moradi (Azam).
MIDFIELDERS: Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Himid Mao (Azam), Shomari Kapombe (AC Cannes, Ufaransa), Vincent Barnabas (Mtibwa Sugar), Amri Kiemba (Simba), Athuman Idd (Yanga), Frank Domayo (Yanga), Haruna Chanongo, Hassan Dilunga (Ruvu Shooting), Jonas Mkude (Simba), Ramadhan Singano (Simba), Salum Abubakar (Azam), William Lucian (Simba).
FORWARDS: Faridi Musa (Azam), Joseph Kimwaga (Azam), Mrisho Ngasa (Yanga), Mwingi Kazimoto (Markhiya, Qatar), Simon Msuva (Yanga).
Washambuliaji ni Elias Maguli (Ruvu Shooting), Juma Liuzio (Mtibwa SugarMbwana Samata (TP Mazembe, DRC) na Thomas Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe, DRC).