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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Azam rise good for local soccer

25th March 2012
Azam FC

It is a fact that Yanga and Simba have dominated local football for ages.

Although the fierce, often bitter rivalry between these two heavyweights has come to loom large over the local football scene, there are some who fear that their hitherto unchallenged superiority has been detrimental to the quality of the premier league and Taifa Stars.

In light of this then, the emergence of Azam FC a few years ago, was hailed as a positive development by those quarters of the local football fraternity who felt that the premier league was in dire need of stiffer competition.

And the ‘ice cream makers’ have served to provide just that.

In fact, this season, Azam FC have a genuine chance of carting home the title if they can maintain their sterling form.

It means then that even if Azam fail to capture their maiden league crown this season, the established order of things in local football is slowly but surely being shaken up.

Indeed, this is encouraging as quite a few of us have long had misgivings about the relative ease with which Yanga or Simba would cruise to league title victories in the past.

Such has been their overwhelming dominance that it is almost assumed ahead of each new season that one of them is guaranteed of success.

It is now the considered opinion of many commentators that the vice-like grip in which Yanga and Simba have held local football has made for a dramatically weakened Taifa Stars over the past two decades.

During this time, the national team has failed to qualify for both the African Nations Cup and World Cup and have had to console themselves with rare victories in the regional competitions, which in the wider picture does not amount to much.

This situation is crying out for urgent change. And since it follows that, any national team is only as good as its domestic league, one can only hope that the recent ascendency of Azam will usher in a new glorious era in local football, where intensive competition is at the heart of affairs.

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