Yanga coach wants all matches be played in Dar

Monday May 18 2020


By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam. Young Africans FC (Yanga) head coach Luc Aymael has proposed that all Tanzania Mainland premier league matches be played in Dar es Salaam to avoid the risk of contarcting the  coronavirus.
But, club officials who were inter-viewed on this recently by The Citizen had different views. While some agreed that the matches be played at one venue, others wanted the ‘home-and-away’ format to be maintained so as to be fair to each and all clubs.
 Eymael reminded clubs and other stakeholders that teams having to travel for ‘away’ matches when the league resumes risk being infected by the new coronavirus.
 He was also of the view that it would be meaningless to quarantine players for two weeks and then let them travel around the country for away matches.
 “What I would like to know is: if players are tested for Covid-19 in Dar es Salaam, would the same players be tested again when they are in Mwanza, Lindi, Mbeya or in any other region?
 “It is indeed true that hosting matches in a single centre is very expensive, but you have to know that your health is more important than that. No one planned for the pandemic. But it is a global problem. Let’s try to find other alternatives if we can, but,b preferably, not using the home-and-away format,” Eymael said.
“There are advantages of playing league matches in Dar es Salaam – be that at the Uhuru Stadium, the Azam Complex, or the National Stadium, where it would be easier to control players. “Let’s focus on the welfare of the players, match officials, sports journalists, and other stakeholders at this time,” he stressed.

 Noting that “the coronavirus scenario is very wide,” the coach said that sports clubs have to change their mind on the games for-mat.

“There are advantages of playing league matches in Dar es Salaam. There are two artificial turf grounds, and you can play two matches at the artificial turfs at Uhuru and Azam Complex and a third match on natu-ral grass at the National Stadium,” he suggested.
“Let’s focus on the welfare of the players, match officials, sports journalists and others in these pote-tially tragic times,” he said. The Foot-ball Premier League as well as other sports activities and public gatherings were suspended by the government on March 17 this year to avoid coronavi-rus contagion.
The government also closed primary and secondary schools as well as higher education institutions for the same reason.