THE Tanzanian government has announced that all league matches to be played at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma will be in closed doors after the venue officials failed to observe health safety guideline protocols.
This was a response as the venue was packed to the brim when JKT hosted Young Africans in a Mainland Premier League encounter on Wednesday, which ended 1-1.
Announcing the decision was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Hassan Abbasi, who said fans will no longer be allowed at the venue until further notice from the government.
“I was there at the stadium and I inspected the venue at 1:00 pm whereby everything was fine but things went out of hand from 2:00 pm onwards as the concerned authorities failed to control the incoming fans. “We have already taken measures to ban fans from watching the matches live at the stadium. We asked the venue official why they failed to control the crowd and it was unfortunate that they had no answers,” Abbasi said.
He therefore insisted that everyone should play his or her part to ensure that venues adhere to the health guidelines as provided for by the government.
“If you see that the stadium is full, go back to your homes and watch the game on Television,” he called on fans. “This should be a lesson to other venues which will fail to adhere to the set up health safety guideline protocols, fans will be banned from entering the venue to watch matches,” Abbasi said.
With the decision, Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma has become the first venue to be banned from attracting fans since the resumption of the Mainland Premier League last week.
So far, apart from Jamhuri Stadium, other venues which have hosted top flight league games include CCM Kambarage Stadium in Shinyanga, Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga, Azam Complex and the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Social distancing inside the stadium is among the highly enforced health safety guideline protocols, which has compelled other venues to mark specific areas for people to sit.
The state already recommend all league hosting venues to have running water for people to wash their hands before going inside or they should use sanitisers, to test one’s temperature, wear a mask and always maintain social distance.