The Mainland Premier League match between Tanzania Prisons and Simba SC will have fans after the government moved to rescind the decision to ban them from attending.
On Friday, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports banned Simba and Yanga fans from attending their remaining away matches 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 was concerned the fans would fill the small regional stadiums and fail to social distance, which could spark another Covid-19 outbreak.
“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.”
However, the government has now rescinded the decision after the authorities accepted an appeal written by the Mbeya Regional Administrative Secretary and have committed to implement all safety measures regarding the fight against Covid-19.
A statement from the Ministry and obtained by Goal confirmed: “The Ministry has ordered the National Sports Council to allow the match between Tanzania Prisons and Simba to be played with fans after the Regional Defense and Security Committee confirmed by writings they would govern the entire game by following all process of health regulations.
“This will include a few fans in the stadium and making sure they strictly observe sitting by one-meter distance during the game.”
However, the Ministry further warned they would not hesitate to take further action if the rules are not adhered to during the fixture.
Simba information officer Haji Manara has welcomed the decision by the government by stating: “We warmly thank the government for allowing our fans to attend the most important match of the current campaign and will make sure all the protocols are adhered to as required by set laws.”
Simba will be keen to seal a third straight title as a draw against Tanzania Prisons will be enough after Azam FC dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Biashara United on Saturday.