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Spanish side Sevilla to play friendly game in Tanzania

On target: Sevilla’s Colombian forward Luis Muriel celebrates scoring against Athletic Bilbao

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Apr 20 – After missing their chance to host Everton FC in the post-season following another Kenyan SportPesa Cup victory in Dar-es-Salaam in January, devoted Tanzania football fans will be delighted to welcome another European football giant when they host five-time UEFA Europa League champions, Sevilla FC on May 23.

Dar eternal rivals and East African giants, Simba SC and Yanga SC will play in a one-off derby to determine who gets to play the oldest football club in Spain according to a press statement released by the Andalucian giants on their website on Wednesday.

“Sevilla FC will take part in a post-season game on 23 May in Tanzania against a local club. The Nervionenses will play the winners of the two most popular teams in Tanzania, Simba SC and Young Africans SC.

The match is part of La Liga World powered by betting firm SportPesa, a strand of the La Liga World Challenge project which seeks to expand the Spanish brand throughout the world,” the announcement declared.

The news will come as a welcome boost for Tanzania football lovers who were disappointed in January when they hosted the third edition of the SportPesa Cup in the commercial capital only to see Kenyan side, Kariobangi Sharks FC lift the regional invitational eight-team tournament crown.

With Sevilla coming to town, Tanzania supporters who have desired seeing their teams play the best competition in world football will no doubt turn the National Stadium into a cauldron.

Simba had a fantastic run in the CAF Champions League, making the quarter finals of the prestigious continental club football showpiece where their fairytale run was ended in a 1-4 defeat to five time winners and Democratic Republic of Congo heavyweights, TP Mazembe.

Yanga, who are record 27-time Tanzanian league winners, are vying for a 28th crown, leading the standings on 74 points from 31 games, eight clear of second placed Azam FC who have fielded in the same number of matches.

Simba (57) are third but with a massive nine games in hand following their deep run in the Champions League.

The Wanajangwani as Yanga are affectionately known had no continental distractions this season having exited the CAF Confederations Cup in the previous edition when they finished bottom of a pool that had USMA Alger (Algeria), Rayon Sport (Rwanda) and Gor.

“As a global competition, La Liga must be close to its fans. It’s a great opportunity for everyone that our Tanzanian fans can see a great club in Sevilla FC up close,’ declared Óscar Mayo, Director of La Liga’s International Development, after sealing the deal that will see Sevilla play in Africa.

‘We are working with some of the most prestigious footballing institutions in the world so we considered it necessary to bring an experience of this magnitude to Tanzania, allowing us all to enjoy one of Europe’s most emblematic clubs in Sevilla FC.

“Thanks to this agreement with La Liga, the best league in the world, we can show the quality we have in our country and help the level of local football here grow,’ stated Tarimba Abbas, SportPesa Tanzania Director in Charge of Administration added.

Sevilla FC will be the second European club to visit Tanzania after Everton did so in 2017. Sevilla will return to Africa less than a year after playing the Spanish Supercup final in Tangiers, Morocco. They also played in Morocco four years ago, playing a post-season match against Hassania Union Sport d’Agadir.

-By SportPesa News

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