ZANZIBAR: THE Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) confirmed that league fixtures will be paused throughout January next year to pave way for the 2024 Mapinduzi Cup tournament and Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
This was highlighted in Dar es Salaam on Friday by the board’s Information, Officer Karim Boimanda who elaborated that normal league fixtures will resume after AFCON games.
“In this regard, we will not have league matches in January and the game between Azam and Simba which was rescheduled for January 1st, will be shifted to another date in February,” Boimanda said.
He also revealed that both Simba and Young Africans will play their league matches slated for December 29th and thereafter they will depart to join other teams for the Mapinduzi Cup tournament in Zanzibar.
He added that initially, the Mapinduzi Cup contest used to kick-off from January, but this time the tournament begins on December 28th, something he said has made them communicate with its organisers to see the best way of creating a conducive fixture.
In another development, he clarified that the board is optimistic to see the country’s CAF Champions League (CAF CL) envoys Simba and Young Africans facing each other in the finals of the contest.
“We hope that the two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals and consequently reach the finals…for the fixture we have projected that the duo will meet each other in the finals, so that we can witness a tough final game at Amani Abeid Karume Stadium.
“This is possible and can happen if they keep working hard and embrace determination to achieve that feat. We hope to see Kariakoo Derby in the season’s Champions League finale,” Boimanda said.
He added: “Both teams had a staggering start to the competition, but they have now recovered their balance as evidenced by the victories they recorded in their recent games. “That is the behaviour of big teams. When they launch their campaign on the back foot, they never give up until they get back to winning ways and begin producing convincing results.” Furthermore, he narrated that the further Simba and Yanga go in the competition, the higher they promote the country and its league.
No wonder players, coaches and other football officials are always willing to come and work in Tanzania. He also conceded that this season, the board has been compelled to make several adjustments to the fixture due to the presence of many competitions organised League, Confederation Cup, and African Football League (AFL).