Tanzania

Aston Villa signs Tanzanian captain
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Aston Villa gets its man in prolific Tanzanian captain Samatta

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Aston Villa has captured its center forward, signing Tanzanian national team captain Mbwana Samatta in its bid for Premier League safety.

Samatta turned 27 last month and has 51 caps with 18 goals for Tanzania. He’s ineligible to play for Villa when it hosts Watford on Tuesday (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET online on NBCSports.com).

The fee is reported as $13 million.

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“I’m so excited. It’s a huge step for me and my career. For all the people from Tanzania, it’s a big step for the country as well. Everybody is so on it, they are looking to see one Tanzanian guy who can play in the Premier League. Here today I’m him, and I’m so happy.”

The striker scored 26 times last season for Genk, and has 76 goals for the club since arriving in 2015. He scored against Liverpool and twice versus Red Bull Salzburg in this season’s Champions League group stage.

He spent time with Congolese club TP Mazembe and Tanzanian side Simba SC before that.

Villa’s 22 points are back of the Premier League’s safe spaces, and the Midlands club is a win away from the League Cup final. The semifinal second leg at Leicester City takes place Jan. 28.

Follow Live: Two more AFCON groups reach their conclusion

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The Africa Cup of Nations has Monday all to itself on the international stage, and is taking advantage with four group stage finales.

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Of the 8 teams playing, only Tanzania has been eliminated from contention for the knockout rounds, while Morocco and Algeria have already clinched berths.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Monday, July 1

Group D
South Africa v. Morocco – Noon p.m. ET
Namibia v. Ivory Coast – Noon p.m. ET

Group C
Tanzania v. Algeria – 3 p.m. ET
Kenya v. Senegal – 3 p.m. ET

LIVE, Africa Cup of Nations – Senegal v. Algeria headlines

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The Africa Cup of Nations group stage is getting very interesting indeed and things are heating up in Groups B and C in Egypt.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]

There’s no doubting that the game of the day, and perhaps the entire group stage of the 2019 tournament, sees Senegal clash with Algeria as Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez go head-to-head in Group C to book a spot in the Round of 16.

Elsewhere in Group C, Victor Wanyama‘s Kenya face Tanzania in a battle between two teams who are keen to reach the knockout round as one of the best third-place teams.

In Group B both Madagascar and Burundi have a huge clash, as Nigeria have already qualified from their group with two wins from two but the former two teams will battle it out with Guinea to get out of the group.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Thursday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Thursday, June 27

Group B
Madagascar v. Burundi – 10:30 a.m. ET

Group C
Senegal v. Algeria – 1 p.m. ET
Kenya v. Tanzania – 4 p.m. ET

Tanzania players rewarded with land for reaching African Cup

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DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) The president of Tanzania has rewarded national soccer team players and officials with $5,000 each and a plot of land in the capital city for qualifying for the African Cup of Nations.

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Tanzania reached the tournament for the first time in 39 years by beating East African rival Uganda 3-0 on the final day of qualifying on Sunday.

President John Magufuli thanked the team at a reception at his offices and told players and officials “you deserve to be rewarded.” Magufuli ordered that 25 players and seven coaching staff be given the money and a piece of land in Dodoma.

Tanzania lost to Cape Verde and Lesotho but was saved in the last round of qualifying when it beat Uganda and Lesotho was held to a 0-0 draw in Cape Verde.

This year’s African Cup is in Egypt in June and July.