Rivals` clash shifted to National Stadium

National Stadium

After day-long heated debate, eventually the Tusker Challenge Cup semifinal clash between city rivals Simba and Young Africans has been shifted to the National Stadium.

Organisers of the Tusker tournament were caught in perplexity as a move to shift the venue was bitterly disputed by Simba.

All matches of the championship were played at the Uhuru Stadium since the event kicked off last week in Dar es Salaam.

Simba’s secretary general Mwina Kaduguda said the regulations governing the tournament are black and white clear and there is no clause that empowers the organisers to shift to another venue for any grounds whatsoever.

While Young Africans remained indifferent over the change of the semi-final venue, Simba remained adamant to stick to the regulations of the tournament until late in the evening when they nodded.

Simba and Yanga are supposed to play the semi-final clash on Thursday, just a day ahead of the Christmas.

Yanga topped Group B that was composed of Tusker and Mafunzo teams while Simba were runners-up the Group A behind Kenyan champions Sofapaka and Mtibwa Sugar who were dethroned.

The organisers demanded the shift of the venue on the grounds of safety and security considerations as the match involving the two sides has always been attracting huge crowds.

Another reason that stands as a pivot towards an attempted change of venue is gate collection.

However, both Simba and Yanga have in most cases disputed poor revenue collection with the Tanzania Football Federation always at the centre of controversy.

The match between the two sides has always been dominated by disputes from either side for various reasons.

The two soccer rivals have met at the National Stadium three times in two years and each side has won once and drawn.

Simba were winners in their Mainland premier soccer league match of the ongoing season played on October 31 by a lone goal. The Tusker tournament, which has been competed by six teams since inauguration in 2002, is now one of the highly lucrative and shortest events staged once in a year.

The winners of the championship will be entitled to 40m/- while 30m/- is for the losing finalists and 20m/- for the third placed team.

Simba, Yanga, Sofapaka and Tusker teams are entitled to the aforementioned cash prize.

One of the teams would possibly go out of the championship empty handed, should it lose the semi-final and the classification matches as well.

Simba had previously won the title four times in succession while Yanga posted their only win in 2007.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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