- The match was cancelled following failure of South Sudan’s football governing body to follow the regulation of the African football governing body Caf
- Al Rabita requested the return match to be played in Tanzania due to internal conflict in South Sudan, and Caf agreed to reschedule the encounter as requested.
Dar es Salaam. Namungo Football Club have qualified for the next stage of the African Confederation Cup without kicking a ball, and will now face El Hilal Obeid of Sudan.
Namungo went through after Caf shelved their return match against Al Rabita of South Sudan due to violation of regulations.
Al Rabita requested the return match to be played in Tanzania due to internal conflict in South Sudan, and Caf agreed to reschedule the encounter as requested.
However, the South Sudan football governing body did not comply with the regulation requiring them to send air tickets to enable Caf to send referees to the match in Tanzania. Tanzania Football Federation’s Information Officer Clifford Ndimbo said that, although Al Rabita had camped in Tanzania for the match which was to take place at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam, the match officials were yet to arrive in the country for the duel. “South Sudan’s football governing body did not comply with the regulations ahead of the encounter, and Caf had no alternative but to cancel the match - thereby making Namungo FC to advance in the competition,” said Ndimbo.
However, Namungo head coach Hemed Morocco said he was not happy with the decision - if only because he had planned to gauge his players’ performance in the match, based on the preparations they had made for the encounter. “This is a big blow to us. We won the first match 3-0, and had every chance to qualify for the next round. I looked forward to the return match to gauge what we learned from training in the interim. There are technical inputs that my players had ready to apply in the encounter with Al Rabita - inputs from special training ahead of the match,” said Morocco.
He noted that the task ahead now is to start preparing for the next match against Al Hilal Obeid.
“We are competing in the Confederation Cup for the first time. So, every team is new to us - and we need to train hard. We are ready to face any team,” he said.
Tanzania remains with only two teams in the continental clubs championship: Namungo FC and Simba Sports Club who will play FC Platinum of Zimbabwe in the Champions League. Simba qualified for the next round after eliminating Plateau United of Nigeria in a 1-0 aggregate. Simba won 1-0 in the away match, and recorded a barren draw in return leg over the weekend.
Zanzibar clubs Mlandege and KVZ had already been eliminated from the continental club championships earlier.