New Mainland Premier League season’s kick-off is nigh

28Sep 2021
Lloyd Elipokea
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
New Mainland Premier League season’s kick-off is nigh

IT has to be said that things have been going rather swimmingly for Yanga of late.

Kagera Sugar FC players (in green kits) and Geita Gold FC players in action when the sides met in a practice game in Geita recently. PHOTO: KAGERA SUGAR FC

Firstly, there was the cheerful revelation that Yanga had amassed a princely sum of money from gate collections in league games last season, which was admirably higher than the sums of money totaled by any other team in domestic football’s top tier league.

Hot on the heels of this pleasant revelation came Yanga’s slim 1-0 victory against old foes, Simba SC, in the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season, the Community Shield encounter.

Indeed, considering that Yanga has agonizingly endured a lengthy league title drought for the last four seasons, thanks to Simba SC’s unchallenged hegemony over the local top flight, it seems only reasonable to suggest that Yanga’s triumph in the Community Shield clash will send an ominous statement of intent to all comers that Yanga will go all-out to be crowned league champions in the new season whose start is almost upon us.

As for Simba SC, its defeat to Yanga, no matter how much of a blow it was, will likely not set off the alarm bells ringing in the Msimbazi Street side’s camp.

After ruling the roost in the domestic top flight for the last four years, many Simba SC fans will likely regard their team’s loss in the Community Shield match as a minor bump on the road.

Still, it is hoped that those figures at the helm of Simba SC will prove to have more sober heads than the club’s many aficionados, who are entirely within their rights (based on their team’s vice-like grip of the league trophy) to still go about chest-thumping that their defeat to Yanga last weekend was a mere blip and that Simba SC will undeniably show that it is still the top-dog on the home football patch once the new season gets up and running.

In the wider picture, though, it is anticipated that the battle for the much sought-after league trophy will be a three-horse race with Simba SC, Yanga, and Azam FC all zealously vying for the title.

The unknown factor in this equation is whether we will witness the stunning ascent of a few underdogs who will not only ruffle the feathers of the triumvirate but give the ‘Big Three’ clubs a serious run for their money.

It should be noted that in the past, the likes of Mbeya City FC and Mtibwa Sugar have obstinately stood in the way of Simba SC and Yanga furthering their lofty title ambitions and they have exemplarily fulfilled this role too.

One hopes, however, that we will be treated to a veritable bare-knuckle battle royal for the title, whichever way the cookie crumbles.

Let us now alter our gaze to Cameroon where the hitherto prodigiously prolific goal-scorer, Samuel Eto’o, has declared that he intends to stand for the presidency of the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT).

Indeed, it is no secret that despite flashes of brilliance here and there, that once intimidating aura of invincibility which used to surround Cameroon has now discernibly faded.

In my book, Eto’o’s amazingly immense wealth of experience as a football star extraordinaire would come in very handy if he were elected as the next FECAFOOT president.

So, here’s hoping that Eto’o emerges triumphantly as the new FECAFOOT president after the imminent, high-stakes elections are done and dusted.

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