Tanzania/Congo-Kinshasa: Yanga to Pay for Costly Free-Pass

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) says Tanzania mainland champions, Young Africans, will shoulder the resultant bill from yesterday's clash with TP Mazembe of DR Congo in line with their wish to have fans attend the match without paying.

Tanzania Football Federation Secretary General Mwesigwa Celestine told The Citizen that the Dar es Salaam club will pick the tabs for direct costs and any other expenses deemed fit by authorities.

Celestine said it was not uncommon in football for a club to decide to have their home match attended free of charge. However, he said the cost could be high depending on the developments on that particular day. He said, forexample, any loses on the facility due to destruction bythe fans would have to be footed under the bill.

According to the official, TFF and other agencies, such as security personnel, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the national stadium management would evaluate the actual expenses that should be paid by the club.

Mwesigwa said the evaluation is jointly conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) whose officials would also want to collect their dues. As per regulations, CAF is entitled to 15 per cent of gate collections as is the case for the stadium expenses. TFF collects five percent.

Calculate the cost

Other deductions are 10 per cent for the National Sports Council (NSC) and 5 per cent go for the Dar es Salaam Regional Football Associations (DRFA). Before Yanga gave the free offer, entrance fees had been pegged at Sh7000 for the green, blue and orange seats while the VIP sections sold for Sh25,000 to Sh30,000.

Asked if a different modality would be used to calculate the cost, Mr Mwesigwa said: "There is no any other option other than the club meeting all the costs that arise from gate collections to such expenses as may be deemed appropriate. It was not our decesion as TFF to give a free-pass to the soccer fans."

He said the body would issue the final bill that the Jangwani based club is supposed to pay for their game.

Earlier, Young Africans planned to charge fans who planned to attend the match. The club also requested TFF to allow their supporters to occupy all the seats and preserve a few for their rivals, TP Mazembe fans. But TFF opposed the move and ordered Young Africans fans to honour the normal sitting arrangement.

Not consulted

More discontent would follow after CAF's decision to endorse Azam Television to show the match live. Yanga protested the decision arguing it was not consulted on the deal. The club said it had its own target for the match and feared the Azam deal would not work in its favour. After failing to stop Azam, it then turned around and said no one would be charged to watch the game.

Stakeholders, including the government then met and endorsed the Yanga decision but on condition that the club will meet all the emerging costs.

It was apparent early in the morning yesterday that the free-pass drew in tens of thousands of city residents who streamed from all corners to attend the match. They came by car, bus, lorries and even walked for long distances to be at the 60,000 seater stadium without fail. It was unprecedented to see the fans seeking entry as early as 9am.

By noon. the whole stadium was fully packed, forcing authorities to issue an alert asking people who intended to go there to cancel their plans. Gates were also closed and those outside told to leave, almost four hours before the kick-off time.

Security personnel had a difficult time controlling the surging multitudes, at one time using teargas canisters and water cannon to disprese sections of rowdy fans. Witnesses said they had not seen such a big number of people turn out early for a football game in recent history of Tanzanian football.

Source: The Citizen