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CAF bolster Simba against Plateau

THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) has allowed Tanzanian envoys in its Club level tournaments to allow spectators to fill 50 per cent of the arena as requested by the country’s football governing body.

This brings a relief to the Tanzanian envoys in the CAF Champions League Simba and Namungo, playing in the CAF Confederation Cup.

The statement released by TFF Information and Communication officer, Clifford Ndimbo unveiled on Saturday  in a move that bolster Simba return leg match  against  face Plateau United of Nigeria.

The move means Simba, who are in Jos City for their today’s away match against the Nigerian champions, will be supported by half of 60,000 fans during a return leg match at Benjamin Mkapa stadium on December 4th this year.

In its statement to the confederation’s members, CAF allowed countries which are COVID-19 free to allow fans fill a half of the arena hosting African Cup of Nations (AFCON) match, but for the club level events such as Champions League and Confederation, a country after being verified to be COVID-19 free can request a permission to CAF to allow fans to fill half of the arena.

Today, the Premier League champions Simba Sports Club will be engaged in big test against Plateau United at New Jos Stadium in Nigeria.

The Tanzanian envoys will be trying to break jinx against Nigeria teams as no team has ever cleared a Nigerian hurdle before.

Nigerian teams that played and eliminated Tanzanian envoys are Enugu Rangers, Ibadan Shooting Stars, Roca Rovers and Enyimba.

After the first leg Plateau United will travel to Dar es Salaam for the second leg to be staged at Benjamin Mkapa stadium on December 5th this year.

The Tanzanian envoys left for Nigeria on Tuesday with 24 players and arrived on Thursday in Nigeria capital, Abuja where they were welcomed by the Tanzanian Ambassador in Nigeria Benson Bana. 

Before they arrived at their destination (Abuja) they landed in Ethiopia where they rested for a night.

The squad included three goalkeepers Aishi Manula, Ally Salim and Beno Kakolanya.

Defenders Shomari Kapombe, Gadiel Michael, Mohamed Hussein, Erasto Nyoni, Ibrahim Ame, Joash Onyango, Pascal Wawa and Kennedy Juma.

Midfielders in the list are Jonas Mkude, Mzamiru Yassin, Said Ndemla, Larry Bwalya, Hassan Dilunga, Francis Kahata, and Clatous Chama.

Strikers are John Bocco, Miraj Athumani, Bernard Morrison, Luis Miquissone and Ibrahim Ajibu.

Simba is currently on the third place of the mainland premier league after accumulating 23 points in 11 games behind their traditional rivals Young Africans by five points at the top of the ladder while Azam are two points ahead.

On the Nigerian side, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) 2020/21 season has not yet begun as the league was stopped due to Covid-19 where in the prior season Plateau was top of the league. They accumulated 49 points in 14 wins, seven draws and lost four.

In the 2016/17 season they won the NPFL title after collecting 66 points. They registered 19 wins, nine draws and lost ten games.

Simba’s fans will expect to witness improvement this season, following last year’s unimpressive performance after they were knocked out in the preliminary round by UD Songo.

Whereas in the 2018/19 season they managed to reach in the Quarter-finals, it was only in 1974 when Simba managed to get in the semifinals but were knocked out by GhazI El Mahalla through penalty shots.

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Author:  ELKANA KUHENGA

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