The Saturday’s friendly international match between Taifa Stars and hosts Ethiopia has been called off following unrest in the horn of Africa’s nation.
The friendly encounter was scheduled for kick off this weekend in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. But the Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) has sited bad weather as the cause of the cancellation of the tie between Ethiopia, Walya Antelopes and Taifa Stars.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Secretary General, Celestine Mwesiga confirmed receiving the notification letter from the EFF about the cancellation of the tie which would be among the weekend’s Fifa dates.
Though the Ethiopian insisted on inclement of weather as the main reason behind the cancellation, but the widely reputed political unrest in Ethiopia holds much water as recently the unrest has claimed the lives of Fifty-two people and many others reported severely injured in Oromo region during a protest at a religious festival.
Taifa Stars squad had pitched a residential training camp since early this week in preparation for the Saturday encounter, now their camp should be dissolved following the match call off to let the players rejoin their respective clubs.
TFF Secretary General, Celestine Mwesiga has disclosed that they were forced to dissolve the camp because it is not easy to find a replacement for the cancelled international match, which he said was crucial in the country’s bid to improve its Fifa ranking.
“The team is going on with its training since pitching its training camp last Sunday, but due to situation we have to inform the team’s head coach to call off the camp and release the players,” he added.
Taifa Stars’ coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa named a strong 24-man squad for a training camp last Sunday in a response to an invitation from the Ethiopia Football governing body(EFF).
The players summoned for the Ethiopia assignment were: Goalkeepers Deogratius Munishi (Young Africans), Said Kipao (JKT Ruvu) and Aishi Manula ( Azam FC).
Defenders: Shomari Kapombe (Azam FC), Juma Abdul (Young Africans), Vicent Andrew ( Young Africans), Mwinyi Haji (Young Africans), Mohamed Hussein ( Simba SC), David Mwantika ( Azam FC) and James Josephat (Tanzania Prisons).
While midfielders are Himid Mao ( Azam FC), Mohammed Ibrahim (Simba SC), Jonas Mkude ( Simba SC) and Muzamiru Yassin ( Simba SC) and wingers are Shiza Kichuya (Simba SC), Simon Msuva (Young Africans), Juma Mahadhi (Young Africans), Jamal Mnyate (Simba) and Hassan Kabunda From Mwadui FC.
And strikers are Ibrahim Ajib (Simba ), John Bocco (Azam FC), Mbwana Samatta (CK Genk), Elius Maguli ( Oman) and Thomas Ulimwengu from Congolese side TP Mazembe Congo.
Riots in the Horn of Africa state erupted after thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in central Ethiopia a day after a deadly stampede at a religious festival that started when police fired tear gas and warning shots to people who had gathered for the religious festival in Bishoftu, 40km (25 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa.
An Oromo activist, Jawar Mohamed, was quoted as saying that nearly 300 people had been killed and many more injured.
He said troops and a helicopter gunship had opened fire, driving people off a cliff and into a lake. People in the Oromia and Amhara regions have complained about political and economic marginalisation.