Tanzania is first African nation to restart top league, with fans

June 15 – Tanzania has become the first African country to resume the league season after an enforced coronavirus shutdown since March. Local authorities have imposed strict protocols to stage matches and allow fans in attendance.

On Saturday, the Tanzanian top flight returned with serial champions Young Africans defeating Mwadui 1-0 away from home. League leaders Simba failed to defeat Ruvu Shooting Stars on home soil, the visitors holding Sven Vandenbroeck’s team to a 1-1 draw. 

Matches were staged with fans in the stands, but with medical protocols in place. The supporters must wear face masks and wash hands with soap or use a sanitizer. Their temperatures are also checked before they enter the stadium. Older fans and children are barred from attending matches. Senior citizens are more vulnerable to the coronavirus. 

Inside the grounds, fans must respect social distancing rules. 

Equally strict rules apply to the teams, referees and support staff. Dressing rooms are fumigated before and after the matches. 

Tanzania has registered 509 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and only 21 fatalities, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1594067590labto1594067590ofdlr1594067590owedi1594067590sni@o1594067590fni1594067590