Premiership fixture changes water down Azam-Simba tie

TFF Media and Communication Officer, Alfred Lucas


THE intense fire surrounding Azam –Simba match was again watered down yesterday following the controversial reschedules of the Premier League fixture.

According to Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Media and Communications Officer Alfred Lucas, the new timetable is due to be released today since after being passed by the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB), it is closely being monitored by the Acting General Secretary Wilfred Kidao.

Additionally, Lucas said the previous timetable had lots of mistakes including one team being lined up to play almost five league home and away matches within a short period of time.

Games which will follow the new timetable are expected to begin on September 9th this month other than on Wednesday, September 6th as previously shown when Simba was slated to take on Azam FC at Uhuru Stadium.

With the changes, Simba’s stars Juuko Murshid and Emmanuel Okwi who are on international duty with their national football team Uganda ‘The Cranes’ will now be available on Saturday to face Azam FC.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that all Vodacom Premier League (VPL) matches will be played at the end of the week other than in mid-week as one way to solve some irregularities which were emerging.

Prior to the reschedule, both teams were engaged in intensive training for the crucial match, with Azam testing their squad against Trans Camp and Simba locking horns against Hardrock.

Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) chairman, Ahmed Yahya announced yesterday that Premier League matches scheduled for Wednesday, including Simba-Azam encounter have been postponed.

According to the chairman, the fixture change also affects Simba’s traditional rivals, Young Africans who were to test the newly promoted Njombe Mji at Saba- Saba ground in Makambako.

The high intense game between Msimbazi-based giants and Ice-cream makers was viewed as the main test for both sides as far as VPL this season is concerned.

The two decorated VPL clubs spent much of their preseason preparations outside the country with Azam heading to Uganda while their rivals Simba flew to South Africa where they engaged in numerous friendly encounters.

Already, in their opening league encounters, both sides registered positive results with Simba emerging the big winners of the opening week after demolishing Ruvu Shooting 7-0 at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam whereas Azam derailed Ndanda FC 1-0 at Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium.

Over the weekend, the Ice-cream makers whipped Trans Camp from Mwanza 8-1 in a friendly battle staged at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile, Simba clobbered Hardrock FC 5-0 in a one-sided encounter at the Uhuru Stadium yesterday.

In the yesterday encounter, Simba midfield played the best football and managed to score two beautiful goals especially, Mwinyi Kazimoto’s long range in the second half.

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