Azam announced on Wednesday the signing of the highly rated midfield Frank Domayo, who is currently with the national team squad, which is camping in Mbeya region ahead of their build-up match against Malawi scheduled for tomorrow.
This was the second time in a space of 24 hours Azam had raided Yanga, having previously secured the services of striker Didier Kavumbagu on Tuesday.
The latest development somewhat evoked hostility, threatening the relationship between Yanga fans and the two players.
Tense atmosphere also emerged as Yanga fans accused the club leadership for negligence, which has led for the two players to be easily snatched by their rivals.
However, Yanga leadership came out of the nutshell yesterday admitting that the departure of the two players was neither ‘fine’ nor ‘easy’ but they will have to let them go.
“We had made repeated efforts to convince the two players to renew their contracts and they promised to do so, but we were shocked to hear that they have signed to feature for Azam.
We will have to let the players go... because it is all about players making choices,” reads part of the statement released by the club.
The Jangwani based club also clarified that they have written to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for clarification on foreign players registration status for the next season, before extending contract with Kavumbagu and their Congolese defender Mbuyu Twite, but they were yet to receive any response.
Yanga leadership also informed its loyal supporters not to lose hope, assuring them that Yanga will remain strong.
Yanga’s statement comes a day after the TFF President Jamal Malinzi decided to take a look into the matter and has appointed Counsel Wilson Ogunde to investigate the whole process that led to the signing of Domayo while in national team camp.
A statement issued by the country’s football governing body on Thursday said that upon the completion of his inquiry, Counsel Ogunde will advise the TFF on possible measures.
However, this is not the first time a Premier League club signed a player while in the national team camp. It should be remembered that Yanga signed Domayo and Simba defender Kelvin Yondani while the players were camping with the Taifa Stars.
The signing of Yondani in particular drew a lot of confrontation between Yanga and Simba, with the then TFF president Leodegar Tenga seeking an in-depth explanation on how the defender sneaked out of the Taifa Stars camp.
Domayo established himself as key player for Yanga following his transfer from JKT Ruvu in 2012 and has reportedly signed a two year contract with Azam on head coach Joseph Omog’s recommendation. Kavumbagu, who spent two seasons with the former Mainland champions Yanga, joined Azam as a free agent after Yanga failed to give him a new contract.
The Burundian striker’s departure is a huge blow for Yanga, taking into account that he was the cub’s top scorer and finished the league second on the goal scoring charts with 13 strikes.