GIANTS’ DUELS TO BE IRON-CURTAINED

Author: BENJAMIN BEN
AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE government said they are concerned about lack of seriousness among stadium owners who fail to enforce the directed health safety guideline protocols.

This comes after the state suspended fans from attending all away football matches involving Simba and Young Africans due to failure to observe social distance policy among others while inside the hosting venues.

The development was reached following a massive turnout of supporters during the clash between Mbeya City and Simba SC at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya on Wednesday.

In this case, it means tomorrow’s match between Tanzania Prisons and Simba will unfold behind closed doors unless the government is assured that the proposed health safety guideline protocols will be respected.

“It is just unfortunate that people are failing to respect the set up health safety guideline protocols which contain many things that hosting venues must adhere before and during games.

“As government, we have conducted our research and found that a big part of failing to control big number of fans into the stadium is caused by authorities of the hosting teams,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Hassan Abbasi.

He added that usually, a hosting side ensures that they have a good number of their people placed at entry points to take care of gate correction bearing in mind that a team which is hosting the match receives a big share of the collected revenue.

“What I want to emphasise here is that from the two venues (Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro and Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya) where we have directed league games to be staged behind closed doors, the number of tickets which were sold did not surpass half of the carrying capacity of the two venues.

So the government has banned supporters of Mbeya City from attending their remaining league fixture of their side at the Sokoine Stadium for breaching established health rules during their match against Simba which ended with the hosts losing 2-0.

During the mid-week match supporters of both sides jam-packed the stadium and failed to adhere to rule number 2.0.2 [III] which requires a sitting arrangement of one metre apart.

“What we have seen is that ticket sellers are doing their jobs well but what surprises us most is the big number of fans without proper tickets who make their way into the venues and cause overcrowding,” Abbasi noted.

He continued: “Most irregularities are committee on entry gates into the stadium by authorities of the hosting teams as such, the action we have taken as government is meant to safeguard health of people and not otherwise.”

“It is not the duty of police to inspect tickets to verify if they are fake or not that is why we strongly believe that big percentage of the malpractices are caused by agents of the hosting teams as they simply want to make profit,” said he.

The ban means the country’s football giants Simba and Yanga supporters will only attend their sides matches in Dar es Salaam only at the National Stadium or Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

However, the government had disclosed that the venues which will insure that they can abide with the safety healthy guides set and after satisfaction and inspection of their respective regional peace and security committees supporters will be allowed .

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