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More Azam players weigh to quit Stars

4th April 2012
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Azam FC coach Stewart Hall

More Azam players contemplate to turn their back against Taifa Stars if the growing wave of hostility by the home fans will not be checked.

A statement by the Azam’s English coach Stewart Hall, released when he was being interviewed by East Africa Television over the weekend, shows that the players from the team are restless as a result of being booed by fans during matches played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Azam striker John Bocco is leading the pack after his declaration not to feature for the team following a huge wave of hostility against him when he featured for Taifa Stars in the first leg match of the 2013 African Nations Cup played last month in Dar es Salaam.

Bocco, who is on the verge of winning the golden boot award for the first time in his football career, said the fans conduct has completely put him off.

With 16 goals to his credit and four matches remaining before winding up the season, Bocco has left only two goals to duplicate premiership record set by Yanga’s Kenyan import Boniface Ambani in 2008/9 season and later repeated by former Simba striker Musa Mgosi in the subsequent season.

The Azam coach said some players are still giving fans the benefit of doubt but if the trend persists they will not hesitate to take bold decision and abstain from the team.

Should this happen it will be a big blow to the Stars team that banks on Azam’s inform players to blend with others to form a formidable squad.

Hall said fans at the stands have always been upsetting players who are not from either Simba or Yanga.

Some of the Azam players who were last time called to join the Taifa Stars apart from Bocco include Mrisho Ngasa, Ibrahim Mwaipopo, Said Murad, Salim Aboubakar and Mwadini Ali, the list is not exhaustive.

“We had eight players in the Taifa Stars camp ahead of the clash against Mozambique last month. Immediately after the match that ended in 1-1 draw, they came to seek my views on whether to continue playing for the team or quit for good. I gave them two weeks and then they came to me to say they are waiting for one more match to weigh the situation,” said Hall.

Azam are three points adrift of pacemakers in the Mainland premiership with four matches to wind up the season.

Simba are leading the title race with 50 points after 22 appearances to open a seven-point gap over archrivals and holders Yanga who have a game in hand.

Fans have been booing the Taifa Stars to protest poor performance of the team but the non-Simba/Yanga players have been adversely affected.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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