Dar es Salaam. Simba Sports Club’s controversial striker Mrisho Ngassa has moved back to his former club Young Africans, who were officially crowned Mainland champions on Saturday.
Ngassa’s future has been a topic of constant speculation this season, but Yanga’s efforts to sign the slippery winger have finally been successful and will likely start the new season at the Jangwani Street outfit.
Speaking to reporters at Yanga’s headquarters yesterday, the talented but prodigal striker revealed that he has signed a two-year contract with the club. He attributed his decision to rejoin the Kagame Cup champions to the fact that the club’s fans are close to his heart.
“The fact is that Yanga is my favourite club. I am, very happy that I am back to the team I have been associated with since my childhood,” he said. Flanked by Yanga officials, including the club’s registration committee chairman, Abdallah Kleb, the diminutive player said his target is to win more titles with the Mainland champions next season.
However, Simba chairman Ismail Aden Rage reaffirmed yesterday that Ngassa will not be allowed to leave for their traditional foes.
Rage, still coming to terms with the disappointment of Simba missing out on next season’s Africa club competitions, is increasingly bullish about the prospects of keeping his key players. “It is only noise,” he said when reached for comment later yesterday. “In big clubs like ours you have to live with those kind of noises without losing focus. Ngassa is our legitimate player, he still has a contract with us,” Rage stressed.
Ngassa has been on a one-year loan deal at Msimbazi Reds from Azam FC where he had fallen out with the management last year.
He was signed by Sudanese multi-millionaires El Mereikh soon after the 2012 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, but the move never materialised following legal tussles between Simba, Azam and the Sudan club.
Simba also said to be finalising plans to line up a Sh70 million bid for Yanga’s Rwandan midfielder Haruna Niyonzima as the transfer window opens. Also, Yanga are eying defender Shomari Kapombe from Simba, though the former Mainland champions are not willing to let go of their highly priced asset, whose contract runs out in December.
Mrisho Ngassa fell out with his bosses at Azam in June last year after he kissed the Yanga badge and wore their jersey after Azam qualified for the finals of the Kagame Cup.
The act angered the Azam management who ordered he should not play in the finals against Yanga, orders that were not obeyed by head coach Stewart John Hall.
It was this action by Hall that cost him his job, though he was later re-instated after Azam started struggling.