Magufuli: TFF suspend Tanzania Mainland League to mourn fallen leader

The Federation has confirmed no football will be played in the country for the next 14 days

Football in Tanzania has been suspended for two weeks to mourn the late President John Pombe Magufuli who died on Wednesday night.

The leader, according to his Vice-President Samia Suluhu, succumbed to heart conditions at a hospital in Dar es Salaam on March 17. He won re-election into the office for a second five-year term during the October 2020 general elections.

It is for this reason the Federation has opted to suspend the games in honouring the fallen president. 

“The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has suspended all the league matches for two weeks,” read a statement obtained by Goal.

“The decision has been made to allow everyone to join all the Tanzanians in grieving the demise of the Republic of Tanzania President the late John Pombe Magufuli.  

“All TFF members are urged to abide by the directive.”

It was the reason why the friendly match between Taifa Stars and Harambee Stars scheduled for Thursday was also cancelled.

“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,” read a statement from Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and obtained by Goal.

“[FKF] 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.”

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 hoping to win both to stand a chance of making it for the finals in Cameroon.

On the other hand, Kim Poulsen’s charges are due to meet Equatorial Guinea and Libya. They will also join Group J leaders Tunisia in the finals if they manage to collect maximum points from the two games.

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