The Cecafa nations were to play in yet another Afcon preparation game on Thursday before the death of the head of state
Football Kenya Federation has confirmed the cancellation of the friendly game pitting Harambee Stars and Tanzania’s Taifa Stars.
The game was scheduled to be played at Nyayo Stadium on Thursday, but after the confirmation of the death of Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli, the federation has confirmed the game will not go on as planned.
The Tanzanian leader, according to his Vice-President Samia Suluhu, succumbed to heart conditions at a hospital in Dar es Salaam on March 17. He won the re-election into the office for a second five-year term during the October 2020 general elections.
“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 at 3:00 pm,” FKF’s statement seen by Goal read.
“The decision has been arrived at to allow the Tanzanian national team and the Tanzanian general public to mourn the sudden passing on of the late President, His Excellency, Dr John Pombe Magufuli.
“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.”
In a separate post, the FKF President Nick Mwendwa sent his message of condolence to the Tanzanian people.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Tanzania following the loss of President John Pombe Magufuli,” posted Mwendwa on Facebook.
“On behalf of FKF and the entire Kenyan football fraternity, I wish you peace and solace during these difficult times.”
Harambee Stars and Taifa Stars were set to play in a second friendly as they prepare for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The initial game, which was played on Monday, ended 2-1 in favour of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s side.
Kenya are set to face Egypt and Togo in the remaining qualifiers whereas Kim Poulsen’s charges are due to meet Equatorial Guinea and Libya.