Football

Simba to face Al Ahly in African Football League

SIMBA will begin their African Football League (AFL) mission with a blistering fixture against Egypt’s Al Ahly at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on October 20th this year.

This was unveiled last week during a draw which was held at CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt where all the eight teams knew their opponents.

In other fixtures, TP Mazembe from DR Congo face Esperance of Tunisia, Enyimba from Nigeria go head-to-head versus Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and the fourth quarterfinal final sees Petro Atletico of Angola battling against South African based Mamelodi Sundowns.

Simba fans who spoke out following the draw said they were delighted to play against the Egypt’s side as they believed they had quality players capable of beating teams of Al Ahly caliber.

The winners of the opening matches will sail to the semifinal and the best two will qualify for the final.

Reacting after the draw, Simba’s Media and Communication Manager Ahmed Ally said they were ready to face the current CAF Champions League holders.

“We are in the process to brand ourselves as among the biggest clubs in Africa and to reach that status, we have to be courageous to face any team that comes our way.

“We are at a point whereby we should be ready to play against any team in Africa and prior to the draw, we already knew that there is no way we could have escaped from playing against them,” he said.

H said that Tanzania has been honored to stage the inaugural match of the tournament saying FIFA President Giann Infantino and his CAF counterpart Patrice Motsepe are set to arrive in the country to be part of the historic day.

“The good thing is that we already have our own reliable weapon Luis Miqquisone who punished them in our past game when we met; he is back in the team ready to face his former employers and upset them again,” said Ally.

However, during his speech that he made before the draw was done, the FIFA boss revealed that in the second edition of the tournament, it will be expanded from the current eight teams to 24 teams as one way to let many clubs participate.

He added that time is here for African football to grow and that African players should also be earning a lot from football.

The newly established eight-team competition is happening for the first time on the continent and will be launched on October 20th in the city.

This is another privilege for Tanzania to be on the spotlight for becoming the first country to stage the opening match of the palatable contest.

The 60,000 capacity Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the city is currently undergoing rehabilitation ahead of the commencement of the tournament.

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