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Magufuli is dead: International Friendly match between Harambee Stars and Taifa Stars cancelled

FOOTBALL By Waweru Titus | March 18th 2021
Harambee Stars coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee. [Photo: Standard]

The international friendly match between Kenya's Harambee Stars and Taifa Stars set for today, March 18 in Nairobi has been cancelled following the demise of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.

“Following the untimely demise of Tanzanian President, His Excellency, Dr John Pombe Magufuli, Football Kenya Federation, in consultation with the Tanzanian Football Federation has made a decision to cancel today’s international friendly match between the National Team Harambee Stars and the Tanzanian National Football Team, which was scheduled to take place at the Nyayo National Stadium, beginning 3pm,” FKF said in statement seen by The Standard Sport.

“Football Kenya Federation wishes to extend its deepest sympathy and message of goodwill to the Tanzanian Football Federation, the family and friends of the late President and the good people of Tanzania. May the Lord bless you with the strength to sail through this tough situation,” FKF mourned President Magufuli.

Harambee Stars celebrating their second goal against Taifa Stars during a friendly match at Nyayo National Stadium on Monday, March 15, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Tanzania’s fifth Magufuli died of heart disease on Wednesday, according to Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu.

A  visibly gutted Vice President Hassan announced 14 days of mourning and that burial arrangements were underway. Flags will fly half-mast.

“Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021 around 6 p.m. we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli who died from heart illness at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” the vice president said on Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TB).

The Late President John Pombe Magufuli addresses residents of Chato Town located in Northern Tanzania in the past. [File, Standard]

Monday 15 (March 2021) was the first time since 2018 that Kenya won back-to-back matches, apart from CECAFA games.

Hassan Abdalla came off the bench to hand Harambee Stars a second straight victory following a 2-1 win over Tanzania in a friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The win was significant for coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mule who was using build-up matches to test the fitness level of his players ahead of must-win AFCON qualifier games against Egypt and Togo.

Mulee is yet to win a competitive match since he took over from Francis Kimanzi after being held by Comoros both home and away.

He, however, beat South Sudan by a solitary goal last Saturday, in the first of the three planned friendly matches.

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