Dar es Salaam. The Mainland Tanzania representatives in the African Champions League, Simba, are facing an uphill task to qualify for the last 16 group as they have to eliminate strong teams.
According to a fixture released yesterday by the African Football governing body (Caf), Simba will start their campaign against Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland between November 27 and 28 as a return leg will be on December 5 and 6.
If Simba eliminate Mbabane, they will face the winner between, Uniao Despotivo Do Songo of Mozambique and Nkana Red Devils of Zambia between December 14 and 16 and later play in a return leg between December 21 and 23 respectively.
Mbabane Swallows qualified for the group stage of the 2017/2018 Champions League and currently are placed fourth in the Swaziland Premier League after collecting 16 points from eight matches. The leading team in the standings is Green Mamba with 17 points.
Songo also are a strong team as they have already won Mozambique’s League title after collecting 58 points despite losing 2-1 to Maxaquene on November 4 while Nkana Red Devils are now second in Zambia’s Premier League.
Simba’s new elected chairman, Swedi Mkwabi, said they have recruited good players purposely to win the local and African Champions leagues. Simba last qualified for the African Champions League in 2003 after eliminating Zamalek of Egypt, who were the defending champions.
As Simba face tough opponents, the Mainland Tanzania representatives in the Caf Confederation Cup, Mtibwa Sugar, will play their first match against Northern Dynamo of Seychelles.
The first leg encounter will take place between November 27 and 28 and later a return leg on December 4 and 5. The winner of the duel will face KCCA of Uganda between December 14 and 16 and second leg between December 21 and 23.
Zanzibar’s champions, Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) will also face a tough opponent in Champions league as they will have to eliminate Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa while Zimamoto will meet El Hilal of Sudan in Confederation Cup.