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Azam back to drawing board

4th May 2012
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Azam FC

Controversies continue to pile up as the Tanzania Football Federation’s Disciplinary and Reconciliation committee has overturned a ruling of the Premier league committee with regard to the disputed penultimate round match between Mtibwa Sugar and Azam FC played at the latter’s backyard on April 22.

The teams have to play their return leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this afternoon a neutral ground.

Earlier the Premier league committee had awarded Azam three points and as many goals after referee Rashid Msangi ended their previous match two minutes to time following Mtibwa Sugar’s decision to dispute a late penalty. By the time the referee ended the game prematurely, the teams had tied at 1-1.

Relegation haunted African Lyon petitioned the Premier League ruling to the Disciplinary and Reconciliation committee headed by former Police Commander Alfred Tibaigana.

Tibaigana’s committee made the ruling after a session held on Wednesday afternoon in Dar es Salaam. The ruling is based on FIFA article 56 that states in the event a match ended prematurely, the circumstances prevailing must be examined before a replay or stripping of points and victory is awarded to the other team.

The ruling was based on the match commissioner’s report who said it was the incompetence on the part of the referee that provoked Mtibwa Sugar to abandon the match.

Mtibwa have been described as innocent to their boycott as referee was found to have messed up deliberately for undisclosed reasons to award Azam a late controversial penalty.

The premier league committee is alleged not to take note of the commissioners report and instead rushed to pick ruling of the FIFA chapter 56:1 (b) to award Azam three points and as many goals instead of replay.

Lyon had protested the league committee ruling as not I conformity with the regulations governing the premier league.

Lyon claim Mtibwa Sugar have to be demoted or a replay of the match for the ruling to be in compliance with regulations governing the league.

The decision has been a heartbreaking for title contenders Azam who were on their way to close on title chase gap ahead of the final match against visiting Kagera Sugar.

Azam have only one option to keep their title hopes alive through winning today’s match which might also award premiership title to pace makers Simba should the ice-cream makers drop points.

While Azam are back to the drawing board, Simba pray for the match to end in draw or loss for Azam so as to ease title hunting load ahead of their unpredictable derby against archrivals and dethroned champions Young Africans set for Sunday at the National Stadium.

The new decision has caused a postponement of all premier league matches that were supposed to be played tomorrow for the next 24 hours later.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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