About 30, 000 Simba fans expected to grace the CAF Champions League match against visiting Egyptian giants Ah Ahly have been advised to observe Covid-19 measures even as the Tanzanian government refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the pandemic.
“We are appealing to our fans to observe all Covid-19 protocols,” Simba appealed to fans in a press conference Friday.
The teams will clash on Tuesday, February 23 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar esl Salaam.
“Let’s observe the social distance by freeing at least one seat whenever you sit in the stadium,” George Abdulraman, the club’s head of marketing said.
It was not yet clear why the club took such a drastic decision, a stark contrast to the long held belief by the government that the country is Covid-free. Sources within the club, though, hinted to SPORTS AFRICA that the record Tanzanian champions acted on a directive by the CAF.
The number of fans is also restricted to just a half the capacity of the 60,000 sitter Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, situated at the heart of Dar es Salaam.
Simba kicked off their group campaign with an important away win in Congo DR, thanks to a 1-0 victory against AS Vita. The Wekundu wa Msimbazi will host record African champions and the cup holders, Ah Ahly on Tuesday next week from pm EAT.
The last time these two sides met, Simba won the “WAR IN DAR” clash by a solitary goal.
“We have a big mission. We want to bring respect to East Africa. We are representing over 150 million people and all of them are looking up to Simba,” the outspoken club spokesperson Hadji Manara said.
But the Tanzanians are going to meet a side currently placed third in the world club ranking. Ahly recently took part in the FIFA Club Cup in Qatar but Manara still believes that they can rely on the home ground advantage and the history, to win the duel dubbed “TOTAL WAR: POINT OF NO RETURN!”
“This is a real war, on the pitch.
“Al Ahly is not a small team and when we say that we can beat them, we know their grittiness but Simba likes such big games. We’ve always beaten them whenever we play at home.
The other match in this group will put AS Vita against Al-Merreikh of Sudan.