Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

24 November 2012

Tanzania: Yanga, Chinese Firm Sign Stadium Construction Deal

MAINLAND soccer giants, Yanga, have signed an initial agreement with Chinese firm, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, for the construction of the former's Kaunda Stadium.

The agreement was reached by Yanga Chairman, Yusuf Manji, and the firm's General Manager, David Zhang, at the club's headquarters located at the junction of Jangwani and Twiga streets in Dar es Salaam on Friday.

The construction of the stadium, which is expected to host Yanga's home games, will start in June, next year and will accommodate between 30,000 and 40,000 fans upon completion.

Manji said his club was delighted at starting the project, adding that the construction will hardly be the end of the club's plans to become financially independent. "Our target is to turn Yanga into a financially independent entity, we have all seen how the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) deducts huge amount of cash from the gate collections.

If we will set up our own sources of income, we will make Yanga financially stable and do away with the gate collections' deductions", he said. He said the club's other building located at the Mafia Street is also within the plans to establish reliable sources of income but currently the club leadership has decided to focus on the construction of the stadium.

"The club's building at the Mafia Street is also within the plans but we felt it is better we started with the Kaunda Stadium construction because the place has a long history with Yanga and Tanzania in general", said Manji.

Manji said under his leadership, Yanga is determined to leave a lasting legacy in Tanzania and the rest of the East African region considering that Yanga is the first club to own a stadium. He said the club leadership is not the only group that is tasked with overseeing the successful completion of the stadium construction, thus, every Yanga member and fan has a duty to support the project.

The leadership, for that matter, requests members and fans to contribute to the project. Manji said the Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which also built the National Stadium, will start taking details on the Kaunda Stadium size and Yanga leadership will later table the stadium construction issue before the club's annual general meeting on December 8, this year.

He said as soon as the total cost of the construction is known, some of the funds for the project will come from bank loans and the contribution from the club's members. Beijing Construction Engineering Group Managing Director, Zhang, said his firm was glad to reach the initial agreement with Yanga on the construction of the stadium.

He said his firm constructed the National Stadium, whose quality won the admiration of the Brazil national soccer team, which played an international friendly match against Tanzania's Taifa Stars before the former headed for the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.

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