A LOT of water has gone under the bridge since the start of the new, 2017/18 Premier League season. One thing has however, stood out very clearly; and that is this league is tougher than its predecessor with new teams showing more teeth than ever before.
But one of the old timers in the league that deserves special mention is Mtibwa Sugar which has to date not conceded any defeat. On this coming Sunday, Mtibwa Sugar would be taking on equally tough opponent and new comer in the league, Singida United.
And just like other new comers in the league, this’s perhaps a team that Mtibwa Sugar would have to be extremely careful if they want to keep their record intact.
For much as Mtibwa Sugar have never won the premier league, but they have since becoming a premier league club provided both competition and top flight players to Simba, Young Africans and new comers, Azam FC.
For instance, Simba’s most celebrated winger, Kichuya, was bought from Mtibwa Sugar. The Morogoro team has for a very long time been coached by the quiet, former international Mecky Maxime. Maxime is one of the most successful local coaches going by the way he has succeeded not only in keeping Mtibwa Sugar in the premier league but also in providing competition to the so called big guns in the league.
The fact that Simba, Young Africans and Azam FC have always fished in Mtibwa Sugar water just goes to show how good Maxime is. The man has had an eye not only for spotting local talent, but also in nurturing the talent into top flight players something that has eluded coaches in the big guns.
For instance, after losing numerous top flight players, Maxime has succeeded in building yet another good team that has yet to taste defeat in the league. Yet this is not the first time Mtibwa Sugar has shown the stuff they are made of.
A few years ago, they led until mid way in the league season before they finally ran out of steam. Mtibwa need to avoid what befell them then and the only thing of doing that is by continuing to work hard on their team.
During the time it was ‘rumoured’ that after failing to beat Mtibwa Sugar in the first round, teams are alleged to have used other ‘means’ to soften the Morogoro team.
But as usual, those rumours were never proven partly because of lack of interest from institutions tasked to look into such criminal activities, but mainly because no one cared, least of all the national soccer governing body.
Of course, for Mtibwa Sugar’s opponents, it was not difficult to win against them as there were many methods at their disposal. For instance, if one could not buy the players who could have thrown away matches, one could turn to referees and get what one wanted.
And this brings us to a very important subject, the need for the police and the PCCB in particular, to take keen interest in the local football. PCCB need to station its young men and women, especially in the premier league where many murky things have been going on.
For instance, football teams in the world are known to be used in carting away drugs, money laundering and other illegal trade. If the foregoing dirty activities are carried out by football clubs around the world, what would stop such things from happening in Tanzania?
A hard look at the premier league shows that refereeing is extremely poor, especially when new comers take on old timers.
There have, for instance been a tendency on the part of referees to rob young team of victory through dubious refereeing. If we want to have a strong league, we need to officiate our matches fairly, hence the need to weed out referees who are paid to kill games in favour of those who have paid them.
I’m strongly convinced that if the PCCB are kept a very close watch in what has been going on in the local game, we’ll start getting the value for money from soccer.
In fact, if all is well done in managing the premier league, soccer teams should be able to finance their teams without any problems, especially when their clubs play against the likes of Simba, Young Africans and Azam FC.
I’m strongly convinced that a Simba, Young Africans derby played at the National Stadium should be able to rake in a billion shillings in gate collections.
Well run and managed premier league should be able to sponsor other games when matches are played at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, National Stadium and Uhuru Stadium, stadia which can take over 20,000.
Therefore the question which need to be asked both by the PCCB and the TFF is why we are not collecting enough money from soccer to sponsor other games? The same thing need to be critically looked into bongo movies and music.
Why are we not collecting adequate taxes from the foregoing areas when bongo music is the most popular in East and Central Africa? The music and movie industry in the United States gives that country 40 per cent in taxes.
Why not Tanzania which has arguably the best music in the region? For Tanzanian music and movies to give the government the requisite taxes, we first need to deal with piracy.