Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

1 October 2010

Tanzania: Beleaguered AFC in Another Premier Test on Saturday

Arusha — BOTTOM in the league table with no point after five matches, AFC face a potentially another tricky assignment when they host unpredictable JKT Ruvu at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium on Saturday evening.

AFC's return to the top flight football has been a nightmare. The Arusha-based outfit head into the match-up with the league's worst form, having lost all their opening five matches and despite the fact that the league is still in its embryonic stage, the trip back to first division seems possible.

They take on in-form JKT Ruvu, currently third in the league table. The army wardens have collected 11-points from six outings and will be looking to close the gap with elites Yanga (16-points) and Simba (15-points) in first and second place respectively.

Following Wednesday's home defeat to Toto African, fans at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium burned their team's flag after being tired of poor results. They went on to suggest that the team was not fit to compete at the top flight league and called for leadership resignation.

In a related development, the official statement regarding the abrupt resignation of the interim management of the Arusha Football Club is set to be tabled during AFC's extraordinary meeting set for Sunday.

The meeting to be attended by club members, fans and outgoing management is set to address the poor performance of the region team in recent games as well as the feared 'hidden agenda' which drove its intervening leadership to jump ship.

"Arusha Football Club is paid well, lives well and at the moment, enjoys first class treatment while taking part in the Vodacom Premium League why therefore is it performing badly?" that is the question which kept baffling the interim leadership of the region's soccer team.

The answer, they decided, should be for them to call it quits; maybe the team deserves another management, thus the AFC coach, Willfred Kidau together with entire provisional team management committee decided to throw in the towel.

Kidau has already met the team and bid them farewell. The coach however said AFC has only nine capable players the rest were simply 'fillers' and there was a need to start proper and serious recruiting of new talents to reinforce the team's lineup.

Other officials who resigned recently include Secretary General James Rugangira, his journalist assistant John Mhala, the club Treasurer Stone Mwabamba and his assistant Joseph Joseph, committee members; John Mashaka, Charles Charles and Abas Utanga.

There are however other AFC officials who are still sitting on fence; not sure if they should also follow suit or remain in the storm-hit AFC boat. These include committee chairperson Peter Temu and team manager Dennis Shemtoi.

A statement signed by team official John Mhala said at the moment the official reason behind the resignation of interim team cabinet was the poor performance of the regional team which has been getting series of beatings in recent matches.

"We decided to give way for other team members who may be in better position to lead the team and guide the players into victory especially in the ongoing Vodacom League," said Mhala.

In other league matches today, Kagera Sugar play host to Polisi Dodoma at the Kaitaba Stadium, while Azam FC will be on road to take on Majimaji in Ruvuma. Ruvu Shooting and African Lyon will battle it out at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro.

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