Dar to host rest of VPL games

23May 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Dar to host rest of VPL games

DAR ES SALAAM will host the rest of this season's Vodacom Premier League games after President John Magufuli had issued permission for restart of soccer competitions and the rest of sporting activities in Tanzania.

Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, issued the statement in Dar es Salaam yesterday, after attending a meeting which also involved officials of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB).

Mwakyembe stated that three venues, National Stadium, Uhuru Stadium and Azam Complex will be used by the domestic top flight squads to feature in the teams' respective games.

A good number of the domestic top flight participating sides have 10 matches left whilst Yanga have 11 games remaining.

He disclosed the remaining stages of this season's Federation Cup will as well take place in Dar es Salaam.

The competition was, until sporting events were officially suspended early in March, in the quarterfinal stage.

Dar es Salaam 's Azam FC, Simba SC and Yanga, Kagera's Kagera Sugar, Mtwara's Ndanda FC, Mwanza's Alliance FC, Lindi's Namungo FC and Tanga's Sahare All Stars, had sailed through to the quarterfinals.

Mwanza's CCM Kirumba Stadium and Nyamagana Stadium, the minister stated, are the venues which will host the rest of this season's First Division League (FDL).

Sporting activities had been on an indefinite suspension in the country, as directed by the government, with a view to containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at Chamwino State House in Dodoma two days back after swearing in several officials he has appointed, Magufuli said he has opted to permit the restart of the tournaments on the mentioned date, following significant decrease in the Coronavirus cases in the country.

He requested Tanzanians to keep on featuring in sporting events as all statistics show there is no sportsman that has passed away after contracting the disease.

"I know everyone likes sports. Even Members of Parliament participate in sports. In this disease's satistics I'm not sure there is a sportsman that has passed away because of the disease. There are different types of sports and every person has his or her favourite sport,'' he stated.

''I have decided that sports should restart. There is the Premier League, First Division League and Second Division League and so forth, they should resume on June 1,'' he disclosed.

He pointed out sports help citizens contain the disease, therefore the domestic soccer tournaments will resume. He hinted military games should as well restart.

"Procedures for accesing stadiums will be put in place by Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children but sports must resume.''

This means Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, and Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports have been directed to seek better ways the sporting activities should be hosted with adherence to all precautions.

The President had on two ocassions said he was thinking of granting the restart of sporting activities in the country but he did not confirm the dates for the restart of the events.

The restart of the competitions is obviously huge relief to sports followers in the country, particularly the Vodacom Premier League followers.

The enthusiasts were keenly looking forward to the resumption of the domestic top flight.

The tournament's participating sides will, therefore, be free to start team training to prepare for the rest of the event's fixture.

Defending champions, Simba, were, until the day the Vodacom Premier League was suspended, at the top of the domestic top flight log after notching 71 points.

Azam FC were holding second spot with 54 points, Yanga were positioned third with 52 points.

Most of the top flight teams have taken part in either 29 matches or 28 outings.