TFF Information Officer Boniface Wambura confirmed the changes, saying the body’s Executive Committee has agreed with the competition committee’s request to increase the number of teams in the top flight league.
“These changes will start effectively from the 2015/16 season and the regulations will be reviewed to accommodate the changes,” Wambura told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday. This means the 2015/2016 season will see 240 games played from the current 182.
“The decision was done with the aim of increasing the competition in the league and enable players take part in many competitive games,” he added. “More teams and more games will provide more playing opportunities.” The increased games are sought to open more game opportunities to players particularly the youngsters.
There are a lot of age group players who don’t get an early exposure in the country’s top league. There has been a call to play more games and to provide Premier League players a longer season, and by increasing the number of teams to 16, the TFF is going towards achieving that objective to benefit the country’s football.
In 2011, the TFF increased the number of Premier League teams from 12 to 14 and the federation vowed to keep increasing the teams in the top flight league.
Meanwhile, the TFF Executive Committee will decide on the quota of foreign players in the Mainland Premier League after consulting top flight and first division clubs.
“The competition committee has suggested that the number of foreign players should remain five as per the existing Vodacom Premier League regulations,” Wambura revealed.
He said the decision over the matter will be reached at a meeting between TFF President Malinzi and officials from all 14 clubs on May 11, this year.
Incensed by the influx of foreign players in the top flight league, the TFF resolved in 2011 that the number be reduced to three per club.
It was decided that from 2014/2015 league season each Premier League club will be allowed to sign only three foreign players instead of five as it was the case during the previous seasons.
The local football governing body said their decision was aimed at giving local players playing time at top club level, arguing that the presence of too many foreigners in the league was one of the major factors behind the national soccer team’s dismal performance in international competitions.
But the decision was not welcomed by some of the clubs, particularly Young Africans, Simba SC and Azam FC, who have more than three foreign players in their respective squads and will have to trim them if TFF sticks to its guns.