The Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports has banned Simba SC and Yanga SC's fans from attending their remaining away matches.
The government took the measure in order to ensure rules governing fans' attendance meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are adhered to.
Given the two clubs' huge support across the country, the government is concerned with the fans filling the small regional stadiums and failing to social distance.
“For it has been established that majority of pitches outside Dar es Salaam are small, and the fact the host teams have struggled to contain the flow of fans into those stadiums as stipulated by health authorities, the Ministry of Health orders that any match involving Yanga SC and Simba SC outside Dar es Salaam, the fans will not be allowed to come and watch them,” a statement from the ministry and seen by Goal read.
“Fans will only be allowed when the government is satisfied through the recommendation of the regional law and order authorities that the host and the visiting teams have met and can enforce requisite guidelines.
“Teams will be required, in writing, to assure the government of their plan to ensure they have the capacity to allow fans in the stadium and maintain the social distancing rules. The said written assurance will be forwarded to the Sports Board of Tanzania.
“The government will continue taking punitive measures against those who flout the written health regulations meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”
Mbeya City, who hosted and lost 2-0 to Simba in the last match, have also seen their fans banned from attending the remaining matches.
“The government has banned supporters of Mbeya City FC of Mbeya Town from attending any of their remaining matches at the Sokoine Stadium for breaching established health rules during their match against Simba Sports Club of Dar es Salaam," the statement further ordered.
“During that match which was played on Wednesday, June 24 2020, the fans filled the stadium and failed to adhere to rule number 2.0.2 [III] which requires a sitting arrangement of one metre apart.
“With the need to adhere to the various health rules, reports have indicated the officials of the host team and the officials who were given duties to man the gates failed to carry their responsibilities as required.
“They, instead, allowed fans with or without tickets to enter the stadium in a disorderly manner and this led to the breaking of the social distancing rule.
“This order is taken to remind the host teams, match officials and other stakeholders in the country to take the enforcement of health rules seriously until when the government shall be satisfied that the Covid-19 pandemic has been totally eliminated.
“These rules are taken in the interest of the fans, officials, players and all members of the public own health safety.”
The orders will see the Simba vs Polisi Tanzania and Mbeya City vs JKT matches immediately affected.
It further means Yanga and Simba fans can only attend matches held at the National Stadium or at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.