Kenya/Tanzania: Let’s Do It for Magufuli! Taifa Stars Coach Rallies Troops

Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen Thursday evening urged football authorities to reschedule the international friendly between his team and their hosts, Kenya’s Harambee Stars.

He spoke at a press briefing in Nairobi on the day the second build-up match between the Kenya and Tanzania national teams at the Nyayo National Stadium was called off at the eleventh hour in honour of fallen Tanzania President John Magufuli who died on Wednesday night.

Kenya beat Tanzania 2-1 at the Nyayo National Stadium on Monday in the first of two friendlies lined up between the neighbours.

Eric Kapaito and Abdalla Hassan scored for the hosts while Ayub Lyanga scored Tanzania’s consolation goal.

“I am new in this job and I’ve been trying to understand my players. This match is useful to our preparations and I hope we can get to play Kenya again before we face Equatorial Guinea (on March 25),” said Poulsen.

Taifa Stars players in Nairobi were barred from speaking to the Kenyan media with team representative Aaron Nyanda citing the “sensitivity” of the matter regarding President Magufuli’s demise.

Sensitive matter

“We do not even know what is happening other than what our Vice-President (Samia Suluhu when announcing the death) said. It is a sensitive matter and some of the players are confused. The media may take some of our statements out of context,” he said.

Poulsen added that he hoped his players will be motivated to qualify for the 2021 Africa Nations Cup in Cameroon in honour of the fallen Head of State.

Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters

Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox