Equatorial Guinea replace Tanzania in Cosafa Cup

Tanzania Football Federation secretary general Angetile Osiah

Equatorial Guinea will replace Tanzania in July's Cosafa Cup after the Taifa Stars were forced to withdraw.

The Nzalang Nacional will join Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles in Group A.

Tanzania pulled out of the southern Africa football tournament, which will take place in Zambia from 6 to 20 July, because it clashes with a revised date for their African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Uganda.

CHAN is a Caf tournament that features home-based players and Tanzania is scheduled to play its home and away games against Uganda on 12 and 28 July.

Tanzania's Football Federation (TFF) secretary general, Angetile Osiah, said: "We asked Uganda to reschedule the games but they refused. We therefore have no option but to withdraw from Cosafa."

Cosafa President, Sukethu Patel admitted he is disappointed to lose Tanzania for the tournament.

"They are an exciting team which has achieved a lot in the last few years but we understand their reasons and wish them well in their CHAN qualifier", Patel said.

"We are, however, delighted to have Equatorial Guinea as part of the field. They will add another exciting element to the competition".

Tanzania would have participated as a guest team, but there there will be another East African guest nation at the tournament, though, with Kenya set to take part in Group B alongside Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Tanzania would have participated as a guest team in Zambia, where they had been drawn to face South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Meanwhile, the TFF has extended Kim Poulsen's contract as Taifa Stars coach for two more years following the team's impressive run of good results.

Poulsen was first appointed a year ago to replace fellow Dane and namesake Jan Poulsen and has since guided the Taifa Stars through some famous wins including a 3-1 victory against Morocco in a World Cup qualifier in March this year.

The former youth coach is also credited with boosting the team's world ranking from 145th position a year ago to 116th.

"He has done a good job of laying a strong foundation for success. He will continue to be in charge of our team," the TFF boss Osiah said.

Tanzania are second in their 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying Group behind Ivory Coast and have a chance of topping the group when they face Morocco on 8 June.

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