English Premier League side Everton have arrived in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, for their first ever tour of East Africa.
The visit is part of their pre-season tour ahead of the 2017/2018 Premier League season kick-off. Everton, who finished seventh in the league last season, have brought the entire first team squad.
The team touched down at Dar es Salaam’s international airport at 8am local time from Liverpool. Among the travelling party is newly signed Wayne Rooney, who returned to the Toffees from Manchester United at the weekend on a free transfer.
Rooney is a big draw card and is expected to make his first appearance for Everton since he rejoined the club on Thursday in the friendly against Kenya’s Gor Mahia at the 60,0000-seater National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Many fans have travelled from neighbouring countries to watch the game. People who gathered outside the team’s Dar es Salaam hotel were chanting “Rooney Rooney” as he made his way out of the bus.
Also on hand was a sizeable group of nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were elated to see their hero Yannick Bolasie. They sung traditional songs, which Bolasie responded to with some dances.
Thursday’s match is organised as part of Everton’s new shirt sponsorship deal with football betting firm SportPesa of Kenya. During their visit, Everton players will conduct coaching clinics and play a match against Albino United to help raise awareness against attacks on albino people. Many albinos have been killed in Tanzania for ritual purposes.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro