Football players in Tanzania have been banned from shaking hands during matches as the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) moved to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Players have been directly to wave at each other instead with the measures taking immediate effect in all competitions under the purview of the TFF starting with Wednesday’s round of league fixtures.
The virus which originated in China has affected over 90,000 people and resulted in over 3,000 deaths in over 50 countries.
Although Tanzania, like other East African countries, has yet to record any infections, the football federation has written to club sides to comply with the Health Ministry’s directive ordering members of the public to avoid handshakes.
“Players will no longer be allowed to shake hands before the matches and instead will be allowed to wave at each other. This directive will be implemented in every Vodacom Premier League (VPL) match and in all stadiums,” TFF directed in a statement shared on their Facebook page.
“The directive will also be followed by all the teams participating in the competitions run or sanctioned by the Tanzania Football Federation.
The directive is a follow up to the one ordered by the Ministry of Health as one step of trying to prevent ourselves from the spread of Coronavirus which has caused great fear and concern worldwide.”
Nine league matches have scheduled across Tanzania on Wednesday including a potential title-decider between rivals Simba SC and Azam FC.
KMC will host JKT Tanzania at Uhuru National Stadium while Mwadui FC will entertain Polisi Tanzania at Mwadui Sports Complex.
Biashara United will play host to Tanzania Prisons at Karume Stadium while Ruvu Shooting and Alliance FC face off at Mabatani ground.
Mtibwa Sugar will be in action against Namungo FC at CCM Gairo while Kagera Sugar and Mbeya City meet in another league match at Kaitaba. Lipuli FC will host Ndanda SC at Samora Stadium whereas Singida United will entertain Coastal Union at Liti.
The league action will be concluded by a crunch match involving leaders Simba and third-placed Azam at Uhuru National Stadium.