Tanzania government: Hosts to blame for breaking health laws

Simba SC fans.
Simba SC.
The government warns more teams they risk playing behind closed doors if they don’t adhere to safety measures put in place

The Tanzanian government has put the blame on hosts for failing to adhere to the Ministry of Health rules which were put in place before the Mainland Premier League resumed on June 13.

The Ministry of Health had outlined a number of stringent measures to be followed by the clubs to help curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, with a number of teams not following the rules, the government has moved to ban Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro and Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya, where matches will now be played behind closed doors.

The government through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Information, Culture, Arts, and Sports, Hassan Abbasi has stressed the importance of following the rules and promised to continue taking action against those breaking the same.

“As a government, we have conducted our research and found that a big part of failing to control a big number of fans into the stadium is caused by authorities of the hosting teams,” Abbasi is quoted by Daily News.

“What I want to emphasise here is from the two venues [Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro and Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya] where we have directed league games to be staged behind closed doors, the number of tickets which were sold did not surpass half of the carrying capacity of the two venues.

“So the government has banned supporters of Mbeya City from attending the remaining league fixture of their side at the Sokoine Stadium for breaching established health rules during their match against Simba which ended with the hosts losing 2-0.”

Abbas says they took the decision to ban Sokoine Stadium because fans of both sides flooded the stadium and failed to adhere to rule number 2.0.2 [III] which requires a sitting arrangement of one metre apart.

Article continues below

“What we have seen is that ticket sellers are doing their jobs well but what surprises us most is the big number of fans without proper tickets who make their way into the venues and cause overcrowding,” Abbasi continued.

“Most irregularities are committed on entry gates into the stadium by authorities of the hosting teams as such, the action we have taken as the government is meant to safeguard the health of people and not otherwise.

“It is not the duty of the police to inspect tickets to verify if they are fake or not that is why we strongly believe that big percentage of the malpractices are caused by agents of the hosting teams as they simply want to make a profit.”