Yanga's officials, players pay last respect to Magufuli

22Mar 2021
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Yanga's officials, players pay last respect to Magufuli

TANZANIA's football big guns, Yanga, yesterday joined other Tanzanians to pay their last respect to the late President John Pombe Magufuli at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Putting their green and yellow team kits, Yanga players and officials were seen pass near the casket carrying Magufuli's body, arms wrapped around their backs while visibly battling tears.

Yanga's Chairman, Mshindo Msolla, on Saturday said the death of President Magufuli is a big blow to the country and the club.

The official said the team will join Tanzanians in paying last respect to the departed President.

He said President Magufuli was a sports loving leader and he wanted to see to it sports enjoy progress in this country.

"Our departed President loved sports, he wanted to see the sector grow in the country, his death is a big blow to all Tanzanians, we have a huge task to do to honour our President,'' he said.

People of all walks of life gathered at the stadium to pay their last respect to the president and many were seen weep uncontrollably, others choked with song and emotions.

The President died in the city last wednesday and he will be buried in Chato on Friday.

On Saturday Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president Wallace Karia, Simba Sports Club's investor and the outfit's Board of Directors' Chairman, Mohammed Dewji, were some of domestic sports personalities who paid their last respect to the President at Uhuru Stadium.

President Magufuli placed Tanzania's sports squads on international map as, during his life as President, the country national football national teams qualified for  Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments in different age categories.

The senior national squad, Taifa Stars, national U-20 squad, and national U-17 squad qualified for the showpieces' finals after missing the events for many years.

His passion for sports saw him announce an increased budget to the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.

He as well announced that there will be a special budget to fund national teams.

He also honoured all Taifa Stars' players with plots of land in Dodoma once the side made it to AFCON in Egypt in 2019.

Tanzania also hosted the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Championship, with Magufuli being in the forefront of supporting the country's national U-17 squad.

The President also watched a section of Vodacom Premier League games.

He graced the match pitting Simba SC versus Kagera Sugar and the Dar Derby between Yanga and Simba.

He was accompanied by former Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmed Ahmed to the clash.

During his time he was also a towering symbol of urban music as during many of his activities local artistes were performing.

He was at times involved in playing musical instruments.

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