The Tanzanian Mainland Premier League is on the verge of resuming two months after it was halted owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Tanzania Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Hassan Abbasi, the return of sporting activities in the country is on the final stages of preparation.
Abbasi’s statement comes barely a week after Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli hinted that his government was planning to relax rules on sporting activities, saying as soon as he gets the go-ahead from healthy officials, he will give the green light for the league to resume.
“On Monday, we had a productive meeting with the Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC), Leodegar Tenga, Secretary-General of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Wilfred Kidao and the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB), Chief Executive Officer Almas Kasongo,” Abbasi is quoted as saying by Daily News.
“The meeting centered on the procedures we will have to take when president Magufuli will announce all is ready to resume the leagues because we are waiting for his final decision on the way forward.”
Abbasi confirmed they are also looking at the possibility of starting the league with the presence of fans.
“If the fans will be allowed into the venues, how will they sit and if supporters will not be allowed, then who should be let in, only players without the technical bench?” Abassi continued.
“The exact date on the restart of the leagues is still unknown but as government, we just want to assure people out there we are keen to bring back the leagues. We are determined to see the winners are obtained on merit…in the field of play.
“At least, we have known how the disease Covid-19 is spread and the best measures to tackle it that is why we are now thinking of restarting our football leagues soon.”
Article continues below
Ruvu Shooting have welcomed the decision to resume the league and said they will support the system of playing remaining matches on a home and away basis.
“When you play at home, even if there are few supporters, you feel a sense of confidence unlike with what others are proposing that Dar es Salaam should be used as a centre for all teams to descend and finish their remaining matches,” Ruvu information officer, Masau Bwire is quoted by Daily News.
“Using Dar es Salaam, it will favour only a few teams, while the rest will be visitors something which is not fair or else the season should be cancelled.”