Fanfare as league kicks off
The Mainland premier league kicks off this afternoon at different venues with all 14 teams on board.
The main focus of the soccer fans will be on archrivals Simba and Young Africans (Yanga) who will play in Dar es Salaam and Mbeya, respectively.
Defending champions Simba will entertain hosts African Lyon at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam as they start their campaign while Yanga will play away Tanzania Prisons at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya.
Fans of the two sides are waiting to see the performances of their foreign players, especially Mbuyu Twite which the two top clubs were fighting for. The Congolese striker (Twite) changed his mind after signing for Simba to join their rival side, Yanga.
Simba who come from behind to beat Azam FC 3-2 to win the Community Shield on Tuesday, are reported to be in peak form to outclass the team owned by Rahim Kangezi side at their ground. Simba is beefed up by foreign players such as Daniel Akuffor (Ghana), Komambil Keita (Mali), Paschael Ochieng’ (Kenya), Emmanuel Okwi (Uganda) and Felix Sunzu (Zambia). They will also depend on the services of top local players such as Juma Kaseja, Mrisho Ngasa, Haruna Moshi and Mwinyi Kazimoto.
Mbeya fans are also expected turn out in big numbers at the Sokoine Stadium to watch their team after being out of the league for two seasons.
While Prisons will be struggling to prove to their fans that they are still a force to reckon with, Yanga will be out to show that they are the regional soccer kings, having won the Cecafa Kagame Cup recently.
Mbeya fans will also have a chance to see Yanga foreign players such as Didier Kavumbavu (Rwanda), Mbuyu Twitte, Haruna Niyonzima (Rwanda), Hamisi Kiiza (Uganda) and Yaw Berko (Ghana). They will also see local players such as Said Bahanuzi and Nadir Haroub, among others.
Other matches set for today are Polisi Morogoro vs Mtibwa Sugar at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro, Mgambo JKT vs Coastal Union (Mkwakwani Stadium, Tanga), JKT Ruvu vs Ruvu Shooting (Azam Complex, Dar es Salaam), Kagera Sugar vs Azam FC (Kaitaba Stadium, Bukoba) and Toto Africans vs Oljoro JKT (Kirumba Stadium, Mwanza).
The first round of the Vodacom-sponsored league will end on November 11 and restart at the turn of the year, before the league climaxes on May 18.