Young Africans’ technical blunder of fielding suspended defender Nadir Haroub in their return leg match against Coastal Union on March 31 at the Mkwakwani Stadium has intensified premiership title boost for Simba and Azam.
Haroub, a lynchpin of Yanga defence who has a strong backing from their Serbian coach Kostadin Papic, was in the starting line-up when the team played Coastal Union.
He was supposed to serve the mandatory three-match ban resulting from a straight red card flashed by referee Israel Nkongo, during their match against Azam at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on March 10.
Coastal Union appealed to the premiership league committee which in turn ruled in their favor granting them three points and as many goals to dent Yanga’s title retention bid.
Yanga appealed against the decision to the Reconciliation and disciplinary committee headed by former police commander Alfred Tibaigana.
Tibaigana;s committee which met on Tuesday night did not entertain Yanga’s appeal after upholding an earlier decision passed by the premiership league committee last month.
The committee ruled that Yanga had violated the fundamental principle for suspensions resulting from cards flashed by referees during a match.
Beside that the regulations and ettiquetes governing the Mainland premier league a per section 25 (c) clearly stipulates that once a player has been sent off by a referee no appeal will be entertained whatsoever.
The premier league committee quoted the section qwhen handing Yanga the letter for suspended player.
FIFA rule stipulates that a player is strictly prohibited from interfering with the referee during a play and a suspended player through a straight red card should serve a minimum of six matches.
The outcome of the appeal has left Young Africans to hand by a loose thread and keep title race at a terrible stake.
The 3-2 loss to ‘blood brothers’ Toto Africa during their return leg tie played at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza last Saturday, added salt on Yanga’s wounds as archrivals Simba march on with tenacious zeal to dethrone them.
A weak ceiling of 55 points basing on wining all the four matches in hand is easily surpassed by title contenders Azam and Simba.
Yanga have not only lost title quest but also substantial sums in terms of fines and fees to process the appeals.
Otherwise, Yanga had a smooth running towards title defence ahead of fielding Haroub, the decision that would linger long in the memory of the club’s records.