PAT General Manager, Mr Andrew Brown
Mainland champions Simba SC leadership has moved to kill speculations that ace striker Emmanuel Okwi will leave the club, insisting that the Ugandan is going nowhere.
Simba’s Information Officer Ezekiel Kamwaga said in a statement on Wednesday that the club has been saddened by what he claimed to be ‘total lies’, saying Okwi does not intend to join any other club in Tanzania. “Everything which has been in the press of late in regard to Okwi’s transfer has been a load of nonsense, really.
The player himself is shocked by the news and has repeatedly expressed his intention to remain at the club for a long time,” said Kamwaga. He insisted that Okwi still has a valid contract with Simba and the club still wants to use their star man for many years to come.
However, Kamwaga said the club would not hesitate to issue transfer reports on Okwi or any other Simba player, if so, it happens. Recent press rumours have suggested that the striker could be sold to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this summer, while other rumours also linked the unstoppable striker with ‘Big Spender’ Azam FC.
It was rumoured that Simba are ready to sell Okwi at a country’s record transfer fee of 300,000 US dollars (about 500m/-) to TP Mazembe. The speculations further suggested that the Dar es Salaam giants are willing to let go versatile young defender Shomari Kapombe, who is also linked with TP Mazembe purportedly for a handsome handshake.
Since he joined Simba three seasons ago, Okwi has become a headline-maker with his incisive running and ability to beat defenders at will. His recent goal poaching form has earned him much admiration from Simba fans. Having dismissed those stories as idle conjecture, Simba SC left on Wednesday for Khartoum, Sudan ahead of the return leg tie, second round of the CAF Confederation Cup against Al Ahly Shandy on Sunday.
The team left with 19 players and seven officials. The players who left are Juma Kaseja, Ally Mustafa, Shomari Kapombe, Derick Walulya, Amir Maftah, Juma Jabu, Obadia Mungusa, Kelvin Yondani, Victor Costa, Jonas Mkude and Uhuru Selemani. Others are Felix Sunzu, Emmanuel Okwi, Edward Christopher, Mwinyi Kazimoto, Patrick Mafisango, Haruna Moshi, Machaku Salum and Gervais Arnold Kago.
Officials who accompanied the team include Chairman Ismail Aden Rage, Swedy Fikirini Mkwabi, coach Milovan Cirkovic, his assistant Amatre Richard, goalkeepers coach James Kisaka, team doctor Cosmas Kapinga, team manager Nicholaus Nyagawa and Ezekiel Kamwaga. Hard tackling central defender Juma Nyoso and right full back Nasoro Said ‘Cholo’ have not been included in the squad because they are still serving their suspension.
Cholo accumulated two yellow cards from the previous outings, while Nyoso was shown a red card in the first round return leg clash against Entente Setif of Algeria in Setif on April 6. Simba lost 3-1 but still progressed to the next stage on an away goal advantage. They had won the first leg encounter in Dar es Salaam 2-0.
Simba has almost set one foot into the next stage of the tournament, following a 3-0 drubbing of Sudanese side in the first leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam a week ago. The resounding win has seen Simba stay in an advantageous position as far as progressing to the next stage of the continental event given that a draw of any margin will see them through to the group stages.
To knock out Simba, Al Ahly Shandy will need to win 4-0. Simba should further see to it that they do not concede more than two goals to realize their dreams of maintaining their presence in the second major continental club event. Simba coach Milovan Circkovic promised to play a more defensive game in the second match to protect their (first leg) win.
The Msimbazi street side booked a date with the Sudanese team after knocking out Algeria’s Entente Setif on away bonus goal advantage after a 3-3 tie. Simba had won the first leg in Dar es Salaam by 2-0 goals before losing by 3-1 in Setif. In the preliminary round, Simba saw off Rwanda’s Kiyovu Sport by 3-2 goals with a 2-1 victory during the return leg tie played in Dar es Salaam that followed a 1-1 away draw in the first leg in Kigali.
Source Tanzania Daily News
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