Azam FC welcome plan to reopen airport and resume Mainland league

Last Updated
Azam FC.

Azam FC have welcomed the decision by President John Pombe Magufuli to open international air transport and also his immediate plans to resume the Mainland Premier League.

The Tanzania president confirmed on Sunday while addressing the country from a church service that the top-flight could return this week following a decrease in the number of coronavirus victims.

Magufuli said the current graph of Covid-19 was very encouraging and this might make him allow normal activities to resume including the opening of the airport, which was closed indefinitely, to normal business.

The Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) suspended football activities in the East African nation in March after the government had banned public meetings as a way of containing the coronavirus.

“I am emphasizing the need to remain cautious and keep praying. We need not relax on the safety measures we have been observing but we need to remain committed on them,” President Magufuli said on Sunday.

“The way I am observing the trend [of the coronavirus infections vs recovery] and if we start the week tomorrow on the same footing, I have planned to reopen the schools so that our students can return for their education.

“And I also have a plan, for the nation, to allow the sports activities to resume and go on because these activities bring entertainment for Tanzanians. Life has to go on.”

Azam Information Officer Thabit Zakaria says they support the decision by Magufuli, especially the one to open the airport as this will allow their foreign players, who can return for the remaining fixtures.

“What interested us most from his [Magufuli] speech was not the fact the league is returning shortly since that is already known but when he lamented he will soon let air transport to resume normal flights,” Zakaria is quoted by Daily News.

“We have three players who are in Ghana [Razak Abalora, Dan Amoa and Yakubu Mohamed], one player in Uganda [Nicolas Wadada] and three players in Zimbabwe [Never Tigere, Bruce Kangwa, and Donald Ngoma] who cannot return now until the suspension on international flights is lifted.”

Zakaria also confirmed their head coach and two other coaches are in Romania and Burundi respectively and by opening the airport it will work to their advantage.

Article continues below

“Our task as a club is football such as when the sport is absent, we feel as if we are no longer existing because our work is not being done hence we are all alert to see football action restart on the battlefield,” Zakaria continued.

The return of the league could also see Azam play their remaining matches at their Azam Complex arena which was recently declared fit after the completion of renovation work.

While the stadium was undergoing renovation, the club shifted their home matches to Uhuru and National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.