AZAM FC dropped crucial points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Mtibwa Sugar in the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam Thursday.
The ‘ice cream makers’ side failed to close the points gap with leaders Simba as they remained second on 36 points from 17 matches. They are seven points behind the Msimbazi Street lads.
Mtibwa Sugar continue to settle in tenth position with 23 points from 17 outing after an erratic record in the last five matches.
They have won two, lost two and drawn one. In the match that saw both team playing with a man down, Azam had to wait until in the 75th minute to score an equalizer from a spot kick.
Attacker Idd Selemani was fouled inside the box by Ismail Aidan and referee pointed to the spot and Ivorian striker Richard Djodi stepped up to convert.
Mtibwa Sugar took the lead in the 66th minute through Ismail Mhesa, whose clever curling ball in from a short corner kick was mistakenly pushed into his own net by goalkeeper, Razak Abalora, in an effort to clear the danger. The match witnessed two red cards.
Mtibwa Sugar defender Dickson Job got a second yellow in the 72nd minute for a crude foul and later, Azam’s striker Shabaan Idd Chilunda got a straight red card for openly pushing down an injured Mtibwa Sugar player.
In another development, the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) has issued warning to three referees for failing to comply with the 17 football rules in matches they were in charge, reports Elkana Kuhenga.
The decision was announced yesterday by the TPLB Vice-Chairman, Ibrahim Mwanyela at the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) offices located in Karume, Dar es Salaam.
Those warned include Dionisia Rukyaa and Soud Lilla, who were in charge of the game between Simba and Yanga.
Referee Florentina Zablon has also been warned for allowing game number 17 between Mbeya City and Yanga to go on at soaked Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya despite the venue being in an unplayable condition.
The committee has also imposed a total of 1.2m/- fine on Yanga for several offences, while players -- Mrisho Ngassa, Ramadhani Kabwili and Cleofas Sospeter have been fined 500,000/- each for refusing to enter dressing room during a league match against Mbeya City.
Yanga’s Head Coach Luc Eymael has been warned by the committee for his comments that he was racially abused by the match official.
Meanwhile, Young Africans Head Coach Luc Eymael took to twitter yesterday to protest Simba’s third goal in a 3-2 win over Namungo FC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
"It was a clear offside. It is a shame, it is a shame. It is a second time in a week this is happening. They qualify in the Cup (Azam Sports Federation Cup) because they cancel a valid goal from the opponent and here they score a clear, clear offside goal. I don't know if they want to give the trophy to (Simba SC). They should say so that people can spare spending money for hotel and preparing for matches."
The Belgian trainer came out and tweeted again saying; ‘again I want to make it clear, I didn’t criticize anyone (officiating or federation…I never mentioned any names or instances) I was just criticizing the way the team scored. Finish.