Football bodies mourn fallen star Mafisango
The world’s football body, FIFA, regional football body, Cecafa, Uganda football federation, Fufa and Tanzania football federation (TFF) have sent condolences to Rwanda following the death of midfielder Patrick Mutesa Mafisango.
“It is a great loss to Amavubi team and Rwandan football in general. Our (FIFA) thoughts are with you,” added Champagne.
Cecafa’s Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said, “I have known the player for many years playing for several clubs in the region and the national team of Rwanda.
“He made a big contribution to the development of football in the region. He also entertained millions of football lovers who admired his talent and charisma.”
Musonye added that Cecafa consoles with the people of Rwanda, his previous club in Tanzania and his family.
Uganda’s Fufa boss Lawrence Mulindwa said he learnt with shock the sudden death of Mafisango who died in a road accident in Dar es Salaam. “Mafisango has been an influential player at both club and national level.”
“There is therefore no doubt that Amavubi will miss his presence on pitch during the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“On behalf of Uganda football fraternity, I extend my very sincere condolences to Ferwafa and the people of Rwanda for this big robbery of a great player,” said Mulindwa.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Young Africans also sent condolences to Simba Sports Club following the death of the DR Congo-born midfielder cum defender.
TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura said the death of the Rwanda international has left a big gap at Simba and the Amavubi Stars.
He said late Mafisango had contributed a lot to Simba and Azam and that is why the Amavubi head coach, Milutin Micho Sredojevic called him.
Mafisango was expected to join his Amavubi teammates in Kigali today as the team prepares for a tough World Cup qualifier against Algeria next month.
“He was among the top Simba players who endeared himself to fans due to his work rate on the pitch. “His death is a big blow for Simba and Amavubi, it is very difficult to fill the gap he has left,” said Wambura.
Meanwhile, AS Vita head coach Raoul Shungu said through a telephone from Kinshasa, “It is hard to believe that Mafisango has gone forever, I am really struggling to come to terms with this fact.”
Shungu said that most of the AS Vita players who played with him were also shocked after hearing the sad news of Mafisango’s demise.
“Mafisango was very famous in Kinshasa although he played mainly in Rwanda. This is his birth place and people here love him,” the former Rayon Sports coach said.
Mafisango, who scored 12 goals in the 2011/12 Tanzanian Premier League season, played an important role in helping Simba win the title.
The body of Mafisango will be flown to Kinshasa from Tanzania today after being put on display for mourners to pay their last respect at the Leaders Club grounds in Dar es Salaam on Friday. He will be laid to rest on Sunday.
Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw