SIMBA have been drawn against defending champions, Azam FC in the quarterfinals of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) on June 28th this year at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
According to a draw conducted in Dar es Salaam yesterday at Azam TV, who are the sponsors of the tournament, Young Africans will face Kagera Sugar. Both Simba and Yanga will be hosts.
Winners of these two quarterfinal matches will face off in the semis, meaning that Simba versus Yanga semifinal clash is imminent.
Other quarterfinals matches will pit Lindi’s Namungo FC and Alliance FC of Mwanza at the Majaliwa Stadium in Ruangwa, Lindi Region, while Tanga’s Sahare All Stars, featuring in the First Division League (FDL) and the only team not in top flight remaining in the tournament will face Mtwara’s Ndanda FC at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium. Winners of the two matches will face off in the semifinal.
Conducting the draw, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Competition Manager, Baraka Kizuguto, said the final will be staged at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Sumbawanga, as opposed to previous reports that all remaining matches of the tournament will be staged at one centre in Dar es Salaam.
A week ago, Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe said that the government has decided to select two centres to host the remaining league matches of the season as well as the Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) matches.
The government picked Dar es Salaam and Mwanza as the two centres to stage three football leagues with the former hosting Mainland Premier League matches and ASFC, while the latter will play host to First Division League (FDL) and Second Division League (SDL) duels respectively.
Mwakyembe insisted that the leagues and ASFC have to be completed to get winners who will represent the country in CAF organised clubs tournaments next season as well as to determine teams that will earn promotion to upper divisions and those, which will be relegated to lower divisions.
Giving his immediate reaction on the matter, TPLB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Almasi Kasongo said they have welcomed the development positively, saying there is nothing wrong with the government’s decision to select two centres to host the remaining league matches of the season.
Kizuguto could not give details on the latest decision for the final to be staged in Sumbawanga. Kizuguto conducted the draw alongside former players -- Simba defender Boniphace Pawasa and Yanga midfielder, Deo Lucas.
“The quarterfinals will be played between June 27th and 28th this year, while the semifinals will be staged between July 11th and 12th this year,” Kizunguto said.
Simba versus Azam is expected to be a mouthwatering encounter and it will be hard to separate the two as both boasts of strong squads and share the two top spot in the Mainland Premier League.
To reach the last eight stage, Simba eased past Arusha United with a 6-0 win in the 64th round, before registering hard fought 2-1 victory over Mwadui FC in 32nd round and in the 16th round, they won 3-2 on penalties against Stand United, in a game that was tough at Kambarage Stadium in Shinyanga.
On their side, Azam FC won 4-1 on penalties against African Lyon, and secured another 3-1 victory against Friends Rangers and lastly won against Ihefu FC 5-4 on penalties.