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State nods to home, away basis

THE government yesterday approved that all remaining football league matches should be played on home and away basis as used to be before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, the state cleared supporters to attend the games by strictly adhering to health safety regulation protocols put in place to contain further spread of the coronavirus as sports activities restart today.

Sport activities restart date has come with sets of safety guidelines issued jointly by the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports together with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.

A joint statement released last Thursday signed by Ministers; Harrison Mwakyembe (sports) and Ummy Mwalimu (health), contains detailed safety guidelines protocol that will help to curb Coronavirus spread once sports activities resume effective today.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Hassan Abbasi said yesterday that the government has decided that all leagues will now be played in home and away basis as opposed to the initial decision to play the leagues at two centres Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.

The leagues which have been cleared to restart are the Premier League, First Division League (FDL), and Second Division League (SDL), respectively as well as Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC).

“There have been recommendations that the leagues should be staged in one centre but others had the views that home and away basis should be maintained.

“Today, after consultation with vari- ous sports and health stakeholders, we have agreed to stick to home and away venues for all the three football leagues as well as the ASFC,” he said.

He insisted that everyone must read and understand the provided guidelines and adhere to what is directed.

“We have already held a meeting with the Nationals Sports council (NSC), Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and all other sports associations for them to share the provided guidelines to their respective members,” he said.

And, the government insisted that any organisation/association, club or an individual who will dare go against the provided guidelines will face the consequences.

The guidelines include mandatory Covid-19 tests on players and officials, temperature tests will also be put in place and should be supervised by qualified experts.

Players and officials travelling in team buses will be required to ensure they sit far enough apart on the way to the stadium.

Other measures include committing stadium managements, sports associations and federations to install facilities that will allow in place running water and soap as well as sanitizers.

Opening entry gates early will also be mandatory, so as to avoid overcrowding and allow fans main- tain a one metre distance, while entering the venue, seating arrangement should also adhere to one metre distance.

Everyone not on the pitch fans, team officials and journalists would be required to wear face masks when at the venue and club officials will be required to make sure that their players use sanitizers or running water before and after the train- ing/match.

And, goal celebrations should not involve hugging, while hand shake and exchange of jerseys will strictly be prohibited.

Players coming off the pitch will be handed a mask.

On safeguarding spectators, who normally turn out to witness matches at pubs, bars and local kiosks popularly known as ‘vibanda umiza’ the government has directed local governments to make close supervision to ensure

IT was jubilation as hundreds ...

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Author: BENJ AMIN BEN

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