African Nation Jails Two Officials For Allowing ‘Rough Tackles’ On President During Football Match


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Burundian authorities have reportedly jailed two officials who permitted “rough tackles” on President Pierre Nkurunziza during a football game.

The incident occurred in a match between Nkurunziza’s personal football team, Halleluya FC and a team from Kiremba, in the northern part of Burundi.

In games of such nature, the opposition team is aware of playing against the president and avoid tackling him, and even allow him to grab a goal or two.

However, Cyriaque Nkezabahizi, administrator of the Kirema team, and Michel Mutama, his deputy, reportedly recruited some Congolese refugees who did not know Nkurunziza.

The Congolese refugees were said to “roughed up” the 54-year-old president.

They reportedly “attacked each time he had the ball and made him fall several times.”

Nkezabahizi and Mutama were charged with “conspiracy against the president” and jailed on Thursday, AFP quoted a judicial source as saying.

Nkurunziza is regarded as a “born-again” evangelical Christian who travels with his personal choir, “Komeza gusenga”, which means “pray non-stop” in the local Kirundi language.

The football game was played on February 3.

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