Tanzanian fans label CHAN clash with Kenya as a ‘Lipa Deni’ derby


Tanzanian football fans have coined a rallying message of whipping up fan support apparently to throng the stadium when their Taifa Stars take on Kenya’s Harambee Stars from 4pm Sunday saying it’s payback time.

The Taifa Stars fell 3-2 to Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations finals Group C with Michael Olunga’s brace doing the damage.

Less than three weeks later the two sides collide, this time in the Tanzanian capital in the first installment of the two- leg CHAN face-off.

In their favourite Swahili, fans in Dar es Salaam are vocal in reminding everyone on the streets that,“Jumapiili ni siku ya kulipa Kenya deni ambalo tulikopa Misri,” (On Sunday we are settling the debt we incurred in Egypt).

This is in reference to the 3-2 loss to Harambee Stars in during the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C tie. This defeat, many of them believe led to the sacking of former coach Nigerian Emmanuel Amuneke.

“We would have taken defeats to Algeria and Senegal, but losing to Kenya was unacceptable. There were complaints about Amuneke’s team selection right from the qualifiers to the AFCON.

“He was also very inconsistent. The loss to Kenya was the stroke that broke the camels back, and the pain has not subsided till now,”  Seif Rajab , a resident of Kariokor, Dar es Salaam told Citizen Digital Saturday evening.

Godwin Modest, another fanatical supporter of Taifa Stars told yours truly that defeat of Kenya in Dar es Salaam would be an unforgivable sin.

“We somehow consoled ourselves Kenya had several polished professional players than us. Wanyama (Victor) and Olunga (Michael Olunga) were at a different level, but the CHAN team has no notable names.

“We therefore have to revenge now. What would the new coach tell us if he can’t deliver a victory, yet he replaced Amuneke for losing to Kenya?”

The football mad Tanzanians believe the National Stadium in Dar  is a fortress where only rare visitors escape defeat.

“Ask Uganda Cranes, JS Soura and TP Mazembe. We don’t lose at home. That would be difficult to take, especially from Kenya. We will payback and thereafter we shake hands…,” a Kariokor based Salome offered.

Interestingly, a local giant pay TV channel has been propagating the message of “kulipa deni” in their promo for the match, that has been well captured by the fans

The Swahili promo invites fans to the stadium in numbers, to aid in settling the ‘debt’ incurred in Cairo as they march to CHAN 2020 set for Cameroon.

The debt settling derby is set for Sunday July 28, at 4:00pm at the magnificent National Stadium.