DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 26 – The mood at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Friday night had the color of a graveyard with distraught Simba SC fans expressing their displeasure at everybody and anybody after losing out to Kenya’s Bandari in the SportPesa Cup semi-finals.
Simba have been third time unlucky in clinching the cup, having reached the final in Nakuru last year but lost to Gor Mahia. And the fans did not hide their frustrations at failing to win the title and losing out on a chance to watch Everton play at the National Stadium again.
“Why do Kenyans come here every time and hurt us? Why can’t we Tanzanians win this thing every time it’s a Kenyan? Our teams are not serious,” one of the fans lamented, speaking to Capital Sport after the loss to Bandari.
“We knew this was our year to play with Everton but it’s not going to happen. Why always a Kenyan team. Why can’t we win. We want Everton to play against us and know that in Tanzania we also have some good level of football. It hurts a lot,” he went on to lament.
Simba came into the tournament fresh from a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of AS Vita in the CAF Champions League in Kinshasa and had thought the SportPesa Cup would offer them solace.
Little did they know that their sadness would have an extended shift and now, they eye an even more disastrous spell if they fail to beat Al Ahly next weekend in Cairo.
“The hurt from losing 5-0 is still there and I thought the SportPesa Cup is in for us. But we have been shamed by our team. I am hurting. All of us are hurting so much that we cannot even go back home early because our rivals (Yanga fans) are waiting for us to abuse us. Ni hujumaa, nahujumika mimi… viongozi wetu wanatunadi (It’s unfair, we are being oppressed. Our leaders are auctioning us),” another fan almost reduced to tears added.
“We have just three games to win Tsh70mn (Ksh3mn) and our players go to play around the pitch. What is wrong with them. We have lost the FA Cup, we lost the Mapinduzi Cup and now we have lost the SportPesa Cup. Even the billionaire who supports us will get tired. Who wants to be associated with a team that keeps losing trophies,” another one screamed.
They have torn into their coach Patrick Aussems, saying the Belgian is not using the right tactics and further questioned his decision not to hire an assistant coach after the exit of Burundian Masud Juma.
“This coach does not have a plan A or plan B. When he concedes why does he keep playing the same system? Furthermore, why doesn’t he want an assistant coach? Why doesn’t he want someone to help him with thoughts and advice,”
“Our players are unrecognizable Shiza Kichuya was a rock of this Mwamba team, now he does not even understand himself. Chama (Clatous) is no longer the Chama we knew. He is not the Chama we signed from Nkana. Our players’ levels have dropped down. They are not the same players. We have a good team but we can’t even recognize them,”
“Only Kagere fights in that team. Yule mzee yiacheza na nguvu zake zote anapigana kama Mtanzania ndio timu yake isishindwe. Namsifu sana Yule Kagere (The old man Kagere is the only one who plays to his best. He plays like a Tanzanian and fights for his team so that it does not lose. I am really in praise of Kagere,” another fan angrily said.
Most of them praised Mwanza-based Mbao FC for pitting up a fight and ejecting defending champions Gor Mahia before pushing Kariobangi Sharks all the way to penalties.
“Mbao are young players but play some really good football. Those boys,, Kagere’s salary for one month can pay the entire team. But look at them playing with so much passion. Our players are paid well, sleep in the best hotels and are treated well, but look at how they play. They are uninterested,” another fan forked out.
For the second time, an all Kenyan final will be played on Tanzanian soil. In the inaugural edition in 2017, Gor Mahia played AFC Leopards at the Uhuru Stadium. This year, it’s the turn of Kariobangi Sharks and Bandari who are making their debut.
Despite their teams not getting to the final, a section of the fans said they will come watch the beautiful game even though it would hurt to watch their teams clash for the third place trophy.
“Sisi watu wa mpora so uwanjani lazima tuje tushabikie mpira. Wale Kariobangi wanapigampira safi sana. Kwanza Yule kijana nambari saba, Yule dogo, freshi kweli (We are football fans so we have to come and watch the games. Kariobangi are playing very beautiful football especially that small boy number seven (Harrison Mwenda); he is very good),” another fan said.
Simba and Mbao will clash for the third place trophy in the early kick off before Sharks and Bandari hold each other’s necks for the top prize that not only comes with a trophy and Sh3mn in cash, but the chance of playing Everton FC in a friendly match next July in Nairobi.