TANZANIA Football Federation (TFF) has issued apology to fans and football stakeholders following the cancellation of the Dar es Salaam Derby between traditional rivals Simba and Young Africans on Saturday.
In their reported released yesterday, TFF said it has directed Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) to release a detailed report on the postponement of the match and sort out the gate fee issues to those who paid for the derby.
The Federation states it was saddened by what transpired and has tasked the TPLB to come up with a solution. “TFF is saddened by what transpired on Saturday that led to the cancellation of the Mainland League match between Simba and Yanga SC. TFF has asked the TPLB to shed light on the cancellation of the match,” read the statement.
“TFF takes this opportunity to apologise to all the stakeholders; those who had paid to watch the game in the stadium, those who were ready to watch on TV, those who were following on radio as well as those who were ready to provide their services,” said the statement.
The highly anticipated Kariakoo Derby pitting the two giants was called off after Yanga refused to abide by the impromptu changes by TFF which pushed the match forward by two hours at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium The 27-time league champions felt it was not fair and opted against playing and walked away.
“We thank the fans, members, and all the Young Africans SC supporters for turning up at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in readiness for the game against Simba,” Yanga posted on their official social media platforms. “(Simba) are lucky because they were going to suffer.
‘Wananchi’ relax, justice might be delayed but eventually it will be served.” On Saturday after the changes in the kick-off time, the former champions felt it was unprofessional and they challenged the TFF to stick to the set league regulations.
“Yanga management is disappointed with the pushing forward of the game against Simba from 5 pm to 7 pm,” read a statement.
“The changes are against the regulations as stipulated in article 15 (10) governing the game. It clearly states that any changes regarding the kick-off should be communicated to both teams 24 hours earlier.
“Yanga management will not agree on the kick-off time communicated and will honour the initial time, 5 pm. “The management has further challenged the TFF to run the league in accordance with the set rules and guidelines,” reads the club’s statement.
True to their word, the team entered the pitch and warmed up, preparing to play at 17:00. Thereafter, the players boarded the bus back to their camp.
However, there were no match officials and their opponents, who had opted to abide by the time changes.
With Yanga standing their ground, the organisers had no alternative but to communicate the game had been postponed.
On retrospect, Simba Communications Officer Haji Manara has apologised to the fans after the cancelation of the derby clash.
The vocal official was left hurt considering he was moving from one platform to another urging Simba fans to fill the stadium and they did just that.
“From Monday I had been moving from radio, television and newspapers promoting the match. I’m not blaming myself for what I did but I feel sorry for the fans.
They did not get what they deserved. I feel guilty and had to seek forgiveness from the fans, especially those who came at the Mkapa Stadium.
“Yes, I might not be responsible for what happened, but I will be stupid for not apologizing,” he said.
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