- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 01:25
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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AT least 19 foreign and local coaches have submitted their CVs to Azam FC, as they seek to replace sacked English coach Stewart Hall.
The club’s Chairman, Said Mohammed, told journalists on Wednesday that the leadership was carefully and thoroughly going through each CV, with the utmost objective of picking a quality coach who will take the team places.
He said no time scale has been placed on the process of acquiring a new coach but said qualifications have been set clear on the club’s website. “We’ve set clear the qualifications and kind of coach we need and hopefully we’ll get the best tactician to take our team to another level,” he said, insisting that Hall was not sacked just because he failed to guide the team to their first silverware in the just concluded CECAFA Kagame Cup.
He said the English coach left on mutual consent and was not sacked as reported by the media. “He was even planning to leave before the Kagame Cup kick- off, but we made him stay to help guide our team in the tournament, the task which he did very well by guiding our team to the first final ever,” said Mohammed.
Azam FC confirmed on Wednesday that they have parted ways with Hall, who reportedly fell out with the club’s hierarchies. The decision was reached by the Azam board during a meeting on Monday. Hall left the club on Tuesday upon being informed on the board’s decision. His right-hand man, Vivek Nagul from India will take charge in the interim.
It is believed that Hall has paid the price of not adhering to instructions from his bosses that he should not include winger Mrisho Ngasa in his squad for last Saturday’s CECAFA Kagame Cup final against Yanga, in which Azam lost 2-0.
The Azam hierarchies were bitter after Ngassa publicly demonstrated a love for his former club Yanga, when he celebrated his side’s 2-1 semifinal win over AS Vita by kissing Yanga jersey, presented to him by one of the team’s supporters.
The player’s act understandably angered Azam leaders, who allegedly called for his omission from the squad that would face Yanga in the final match. Hall ignored the directive and named Ngassa among reserve players for the game. He introduced the player in the second half, with his side trailing 1-0 but he could not bail out Azam as Yanga went on to win 2-0 to retain their title.
There had been rumours in the past that the Englishman would be sacked from his position after failing to build a dominant team despite lavish spending by the Dar es Salaam tycoons, but the trigger for his sacking was pulled by his decision to field Ngasa -- a decision that could hardly be vindicated as the team crashed to defeat.
It was the fourth time Azam parted ways with coaches since securing Premier League promotion in 2008. The other coaches include Neider dos Santos, Sylvester Marsh and Itamar Amorin. Hall was the Director of the Birmingham City F.C. youth academy and went on to manage the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines national football team and Indian club Pune FC.
In 2010 he was appointed as head coach of Zanzibar national football team but the contract was terminated shortly afterwards for technical reasons, paving way for his move to Azam FC.
During his tenure, he helped Azam finish runners-up in the Premier League last season, won the 2012 Mapinduzi Cup tournament and was on the brink of making history when he guided the team to the final of the regional club championship in their maiden appearance.