Tanzania government issues tough rules with league set to resume

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Simba SC fans.
Simba SC.
The Ministry of Sports and Health have released tough guidelines which must be followed when the top-flight resumes on June 13

The government of Tanzania has issued stringent measures which will have to be followed when the Mainland Premier League resumes on June 13.

The top-flight, which was halted in mid-March owing to the coronavirus pandemic, has been allowed to resume by President John Pombe Magufuli and already teams have started group training sessions ahead of the restart.

After a  joint statement signed by Ministers Harrison Mwakyembe (Ministry of Sports) and Ummy Mwalimu (Ministry of Health) and as reported by Daily News, all the players and officials will have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests, while temperature tests will be done under the supervision of top medical experts.

The government has also stated players and officials travelling in team buses will be required to ensure they sit far enough apart on the way to the stadium.

The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and sports associations have been urged to make sure they have enough water in place as well as sanitizers (inside and outside match venues), and all this will be used when entering the pitch before matches.

The organisers will be required to open gates early enough to avoid fans crowding the area, while the seating arrangements must see the one-metre distance rule followed.

The government has also warned against wild celebration, saying any goal scored should not invite hugging, while the exchange of jerseys at the end of the match and handshake (before and after the match) will also not be tolerated.

In addition, substitutes sitting on the bench will be required to wear masks and must sit a metre apart, while players coming off the pitch will be required to wear masks immediately leaving the field.

The Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) has confirmed they will release fixtures for the remaining rounds of matches on Sunday.

The matches will be played in two locations – Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.

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Simba SC will be seeking to clinch their third straight title and secure a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Champions League.

Before the league took a break, most teams had played 28 matches out of 38, with 20-time champions Simba leading the pack with 71 points.

Having a healthy gap of 17 points between them and second-placed Azam, Wekundu wa Msimbazi needs at most five wins to be crowned champions.