MAINLANDchampions Simba leadership has called on fans to rally behind the team ahead of their weekend CAF Champions League,preliminaryround ,returnlegagainst UDSongoof Mozambique.
Club’s Head and Information and Communication, Haji Manara made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam, ahead of their Sunday’s meeting against Mozambicans at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Simba stamped a barren draw with UD Songo of Mozambique away in Beira, Mozambique on August 10th this year.
It was somewhat an advantage for the Msimbazi Street lads, who will now need a victory of any kind or avoid a draw involving goals in the return leg, for them to sail through into the first round of the continental top tier club championship.
And, in run up to the match, Manara called for Simba supporters to flock the 60,000-seat venue, packing it to the brim and back their team to the top of their voices from the kick off to the end.
Manara said for Simba, their supporters are not only the 12th player but they are the stars, who have been playing a vital role in the team’s victories.
“We urge them (supporters) to come over on Sunday and fill the stadium as they always do and cheer their team from the word go to the final whistle,” he told a news conference.
“It has to be hell for our Mozambique friends...I hope we will have 60,000+ supporters, not 60,000+ viewers. This is really impor- tant to us. We have had good times last season, breaking Africa record in terms of attendance and we must maintain having good times and break more attendance records this season,” he said.
He told supporters to remain resolute in their backing of the team as always, while also requesting Simba fans to support other teams, which represent the country in the continental inter-club champion- ships.
Other clubs in CAF interclub championships are Young Africans and Zanzibar’s KMKM, who are battling it out in CAF Champions League, Azam FC, KMC and Zanzibar’s Malindi, who are competing in CAF Confederation Cup.
“Our teams would need the unwavering support of everyone in the country to achieve their targets,” he said.
“I will make a call to all Tanzanians to support our teams and I specifically call upon Simba fans to flock the Azam Complex on Saturday to support Azam in their clash against Fesil Ketema of Ethio- pia,” Manara said.
He also invited fans to come over at the National Stadium on Friday, to support KMC in the their breaker tie against Rwanda’s AS Kigali in the return leg of CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round return leg, to ensure the Kinondoni lads post positive results.
Yanga will be away in Gaborone, Botswana to battle it with host Township Rollers. In their first leg ties, Simba, KMC and Yanga shared the spoils.
Simba and KMC posted barren draws away in Beira and Kigali respectively, while Yanga fought to 1-1 draw at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Azam lost 1-0 away in Ethiopia and all the four Mainland sides need to win their games to cruise into the next stage of their respective tournaments.
In Sunday’s match, Simba is likely to miss the services of key striker and skipper, John Bocco, who sustained injury in last Saturday’s Community Shield match against Azam FC at the National Stadium, which the Reds won 4-2.
Simba Head Coach Patrick Aussems said that he still waits on the team physician’s report, to know whether the skipper will be fit for the match. Simba reached the quarterfinals stage of the Champions League last season.
Other players in doubt are goalkeeper Aishi Manula, attacking midfielder Ibrahim Ajib and Brazilian striker Wilker Da Silva, who also missed the first leg due to injuries.