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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

'I feel an overwhelming sadness as I retire from Taifa Stars' - Kapombe

4:27 PM MYT 04/11/2019
Shomari Kapombe
The defender has decided to leave the national team after a series of injuries have limited his playing time even at club level

Taifa Stars defender Shomari Kapombe has announced his decision to retire from international football at 27 years of age.

Kapombe revealed he arrived at the decision given the numerous injury cases he has had to battle in his career.

He returned to club duty for Simba SC on Sunday against Mbeya City after missing a larger part of the opening fixtures.

The former Cannes star admitted it was a difficult decision to arrive at despite feeling he was too young to hang up his boots.

"With regret, on November 1, I presented my letter of retirement to Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president explaining my decision to retire from the national team," Kapombe said in a letter which appeared on his Twitter handle. 

"Perhaps it took me a very long time to come to this particularly hard decision. It is no doubt I am still young and I have got enough energy to serve the national team; Taifa Stars.

"But considering my battle with recurrent injuries, I have to admit it is time to quit international football and create an opportunity for other players to serve Taifa Stars."

Kapombe further elaborated why he felt he is not the right person to represent Tanzania in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and World Cup qualifiers.

"I understand Taifa Stars are up for some big and difficult matches and in this regard, the team wants players who will fight hard and give their 100% dedication for good results in those matches," he added.

"Having said that, I doubt if I will be in a position to give the best fight given the effects injuries have had on me. Some may think I am fit to don the national jersey but inside me, I feel it is no longer possible to do so. I am not 100% fit."

The former Azam defender, however, did not rule out the probability of returning to the national team in future.

"I have to affirm, I will be ready to play for Taifa Stars again but only when I will be fit enough and when I will be satisfied that my contribution to the national team will be very important," promised Kapombe.

"I hope my decision to retire from international football has been received well and the reasons I gave therein have been understood."

Kapombe who started his career as a midfielder launched his footballing journey at the Morogoro Youth Academy. At the senior level, he has featured for Simba, in two stints (2011-13 and 2017- present).

He has also played for Azam FC and French side Cannes.