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Shomari Kapombe of Simba is challenged by Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates in the Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal first leg match at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on April 17 2022. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/ELIA BENNDICT
Shomari Kapombe of Simba is challenged by Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates in the Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal first leg match at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on April 17 2022. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/ELIA BENNDICT

Tanzanian club Simba SC hit back at the post-match comments made by Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi after the Buccaneers’ 1-0 Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal first leg defeat in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

In a statement signed by club CEO Barbara Gonzalez, Simba said Ncikazi’s remarks were “defamatory, unprofessional, unethical and distasteful”, and against the spirit of a historical relationship that goes back to when Tanzania was a host of the ANC in exile during the struggle against apartheid.

The club asked for its security to be guaranteed for the second leg at Orlando Stadium on Sunday (6pm).

Ncikazi said in his post-match media conference that Pirates were treated “like animals”.  He disputed the penalty Simba scored as Bucs lost the first leg in front of 60,000 people at Mkapa National Stadium, a venue where the Reds of Msimbazi have been accused before of gamesmanship tactics.

In a statement, Simba said: “Simba Sports Club is deeply disappointed with the defamatory remarks made by Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi after their Confed Cup quarterfinal loss against us on Sunday.

“We condemn the unprofessionalism and unethical behaviour by coach Ncikazi through his remarks. As the host team, we will not tolerate slander of that kind against our country and club. As Tanzanians, we pride ourselves on providing a safe and secure environment for all activities and ensure a high standard of service is provided to all our guests.

“As their opponents we were deeply puzzled by the strange behaviour of Pirates since their arrival in Tanzania. All friendly gestures were openly denied, starting with the vehicles provided for their logistics, and the suggested hotels in close proximity to the stadium.

“In addition Pirates arrived more than an hour late to the official training session set by Caf, yet stadium officials were kind to accommodate them, despite their deliberate choice to stay a far distance from the stadium (out of town).

“Most strangely, the peculiar decision to use the unofficial entry to the stadium dressing rooms via the media room. This is not how mega clubs conduct themselves and for that they must accept all responsibility for their own actions that resulted in poor choices made since their arrival in Tanzania, despite receiving prior friendly advice from Simba.”

“Playing by the written rules is mandatory, however. Respecting the unwritten ones is a must. Fair play requires unconditional respect for opponents and fellow players. This is something coach Ncikazi failed to accord us.”

The club said it would “file a formal complaint to Caf and through the diplomatic channels”.

“The indirect threats to our safety and security are not dismissed and should anything happen to Simba during our stay we will understand the route of any incident.”

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