THE Zanzibar Football Federation (ZFF) said all is ready as the 2023/24 season of PBZ Premier League kicks off here tomorrow with one hot fixture.
The opening fixture witnesses Ngome FC hosting Zimamoto at Mao Zedong Stadium with both sides keen to pocket the first maximum points of the season opener and keep the ball rolling.
In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, ZFF Media and Information Officer Mohamed Kabwanga reiterated that everything is in place for another entertaining football season in the Isles.
“As a federation, we are done with preparations and the Community Shield match we had on Saturday between KMKM against JKU signalled the start of the new season.
“Judging from what transpired during the Community Shield game, you can easily see that people are looking forward to a great football season as the turnout at the stadium was big,” Kabwanga said.
He also mentioned that ZFF has come up with a series of engagements aimed at promoting the Isles league and enticing people to go to stadiums to watch live games saying by doing that, they will be uplifting football standards.
On the ongoing renovation works at Amaan Stadium, Kabwanga disclosed that they expect the facelift works to be completed by December and thereafter, league fixtures will return at the refurbished venue.
Meanwhile, the Community Shield match saw JKU claiming the title after a comfortable 5-2 victory over KMKM who could not manage to retain the championship.
JKU Coach Salum Ali acknowledged his players for the showdown hoping to see the same rhythm in the league as they eye to be among the title contenders of this season’s campaign.
“We are all delighted with this massive victory and my players followed the game plan we had beforehand…this is a positive start for us and our fans should expect more,” he said.
On his part, KMKM Coach Masoud Juma highlighted the defeat was due to drop in players’ morale after a red card shown to his player.
He asserted that fault and punishment completely changed everything.
“We began the match well by scoring an early goal but as the game progressed, we suffered a setback when one of my players was awarded a red card and spoiled our plans for we had to finish the game with 10 players on the pitch,” he said.
Again, Masoud who once coached Simba elaborated that the defeat does not jeopardise their chances of defending this season’s league title for the fourth time in a row.