2 officials have been imprisoned for allowing Burundi's President to fall down too many times during football match

President Nkurunziza, a 'born-again' evangelical Christian spends much of his time travelling Burundi with his own team, Haleluya FC.

Kiremba football team administrator Cyriaque Nkezabahizi and his assistant, Michel Mutama, were on Thursday imprisoned after President Pierre Nkurunziza was "roughed up" in a football match they had organised.

President Nkurunziza, a 'born-again' evangelical Christian who spends at least half of every week travelling with his team Haleluya FC and his choir "Komeza gusenga" which means "pray non-stop" in the local kirundi language, on 3 February played against a side from the northern town of Kiremba.

Normally, the opposition team is well aware they are playing against the country's president, and it has been said they go easy in the games, even perhaps allowing Nkurunziza to score, not this time round though.

Kiremba team whose some of the players are Congolese refugees did not know they were playing against Burundi's president and so "attacked each time President Nkurunziza  had the ball and made him fall several times", a witness told AFP.

"These Congolese obviously didn't know President Nkurunziza because they roughed him up during the match, attacking each time he had the ball and making him fall several times while the Burundian players were careful not to get too close to him," one witness said.

And as a result, Kiremba's administrator and his assistant were apprehended and  imprisoned on Thursday.

A judicial source who spoke to AFP was cited as saying the two officials had been arrested on charges of "conspiracy against the president".

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