- Published on Monday, 03 September 2012 01:05
- Written by JAPHETH KAZENGA
- Hits: 877
YANGA head coach, Tom Saintfiet, has criticized the arrangement of the Mainland Premier League fixture by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) saying the body has done it unfairly.
He lamented the decision by TFF to arrange two consecutive away matches for his team early on in the campaign while Yanga’s rivals, Simba, will play their first two matches at home and, in the process, enjoy a home ground advantage.
“We will travel to Mbeya to play Tanzania Prisons in the first match and then we will go to Morogoro to play Mtibwa Sugar while Simba will be at home. I think this is unfair, it should have been one game played at home and then the next game is played away”, said Saintfiet.
Yanga are expected to kick off their campaign in the league by facing the promoted Tanzania Prisons at the latter’s venue, Sokoine Stadium, in Mbeya on September 15, prior to travelling to Morogoro to play Mtibwa Sugar at the Jamhuri Stadium four days later. “Have you seen the English Premier League having been arranged like this?
Have you seen, for instance, Chelsea playing away games consecutively in the English Premier League? It (the English Premier League) is usually (arranged in such a way that) one match is played at home and the next match is played away”, he said. “Nevertheless, we are prepared for the league and we will put our best performance”, he added.
Mainland Premier League champions, Simba, will meet African Lyon in the opening match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on September 15 before clashing with Ruvu Shooting Stars at the same venue on September 23.
Said Mhando, a member of the Mainland Premier League Committee, which is currently supervising the league in cooperation with TFF, said although he was outside Dar es Salaam when the arrangement of the league fixture was taking place, he still feels Yanga have no reason to complain considering they have an advantage of playing the last four matches at home.
“Saintfiet should have put his complaints in writing and table them before the league committee instead of complaining to the media”, added Mhando. Saintfiet also showered praises on Yanga’s newly recruited Rwandan international of Congolese origin, Mbuyu Twite, who made his home debut for the side in a friendly match against another Mainland Premier League side, Tanga’s Coastal Union, at the National Stadium on Saturday. Twite, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s St Eloi Lupopo
player who was recently on loan to Rwandan champions, APR, has been recruited by Yanga for the Mainland Premier League campaign and had arrived in Dar es Salaam last Thursday.
The towering, muscular player, who usually plays as a centre back, was handed a defensive midfielder role by his coach in the Saturday friendly against Coastal Union following the absence of regular defensive midfielder, Athuman Idd, who is reportedly suffering Malaria.
And Twite looked to have handled the role well as he smoothly linked with the defence comprising central defenders, Nadir Haroub and Kelvin Yondani, and fullbacks, Juma Abdul and Oscar Joshua, and the rest in the squad to see Yanga edge Coastal Union 2-1.
“I was very impressed by Twite. He asked me to play him for 45 minutes only but I was so impressed by him that I decided he should play for 90 minutes despite having suffered a cut on his upper lip and requiring the doctor’s attention”, said the Belgian tactician.
It was Coastal Union, though, that notched the opener on the 15th minute through a spectacular 25 metres drive by the side’s midfielder, Razak Khalfan, before Yanga equalized on the 86th minute through an own goal by Coastal’s midfielder, Salum Aziz Gilla, who headed into his own net in an effort to clear a pinpoint cross by Yanga’s winger, Shamte Ali from the right. Striker, Said Bahanuzi, then scored the second for the Jangwani Street side a minute later.