Dar es Salaam,
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has parted company with the national football team head coach Etienne Ndayiragije on mutual consent.
According to a statement issued by TFF yesterday, the new head coach for the team will be announced later after the completion of the recruitment process.
TFF’s statement did not name Ndayiragije’s successor, but the report received by The Citizen said the team’s former technical director, Kim Poulsen, is preparing to take the post.
Ndayiragije who was Azam FC head coach replaced Nigerian Amunike who also parted ways with TFF after failure of the national team to do well in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Cairo, Egypt, in 2019. The famous Burundi trainer was assisted by two local coaches, Juma Mgunda - who is today the head coach of Coastal Union - and Seleman Matola, currently Simba Sports Club assistant coach.
He helped Taifa Stars to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals after eliminating Burundi on 3-0 penalties. The teams drew 1-1 in both games played in Bunjumbura and Dar es Salaam. The Burundian tactician also led Taifa Stars to qualify for the African Nations Championship (Chan) held in Cameroon. However, Taifa Stars did not qualify for the knockout stages.
As per records, Ndayiragije led Taifa Stars in 13 competition matches, five of which Taifa Stars won - losing five and drawing three. However, different football stakeholders had different views on Ndayiragije’s exit.
Former National Sports Council (NSC) chairman Idd Kipingu said the decision was taken too early, as Ndayiragije was showing improvement in Taifa Stars despite the fact that they failed to reach the knockout stage in Chan.
“It is too early to take a decision. Players were gaining and there was improvement in the team. They should have given him more time,” said Kipingu.
Former Taifa Stars player Mtemi Ramadhani commended the TFF decision, saying it was fair.
Meanwhile, Danish tactician Poulsen is likely to take the post left by Ndayiragije.
Poulsen is well-known in Tanzania after managing to build strong youths soccer foundation between 2011 and 2012, when players like Thomas Ulimwengu, Salum ‘Sure Boy’ Abubakari and Frank Domayo were groomed by the Danish tactician as head of National Football Development for the Tanzania national team.
After two years in Tanzania as Taifa Stars coach, Poulsen returned to his hometown Sonderborg in Denmark where he was appointed the manager of FC Sonderborg on a three-year contract.
Poulsen only played amateur football as a matter of course. As a football manager, he gained national recognition when he won promotion with the Danish club Aarhus Fremad five times in a mere nine years, from 1987 to 1995 - and took the club to the Danish Superliga.
Between 1996 and 1997, Poulsen managed AC Horsens before moving back to Aarhus Fremad in 1998.
He managed AC Horsens again in 1999, before being appointed the manager of Viborg FF the same year.
Under Poulsen, Viborg FF turned professional - and went on to win the 1999–2000 Danish Cup, as well as the 2000 Danish Super Cup. In October 2001, Poulsen was sacked from his position in Viborg.