Simba Sports Club, a football club based in Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam Tanzania, said it expects to have a trial run of the Video Assistant Referee, VAR, technology at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam tomorrow ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup match against Orlando Pirates.
Prior to the reverse tie at Orlando Stadium in South Africa next Sunday, the two clubs will clash in the first leg of the competition. The winner of the two-legged match will progress to the semifinals.
Simba’s goal has been to reach the Confederations Cup’s last four stage, thus they have two boundaries to cross before reaching the Promised Land, and the ball is already in their area.
As a result, this is another difficult responsibility for Head Coach Pablo Franco, who holds millions of Tanzanian souls in his hands and is responsible for leading the club forward.
However, the club’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Barbara Gonzalez, indicated on Thursday in the city that preparations are going well and that a VAR trial run is planned.
“This is the first time in East and Central Africa to host VAR and on Saturday, we are going to have a trial run of the technology before officially using it on Sunday,” she said.
Gonzalez also stated that the team’s technical bench has had enough time to analyse how their opponents play and that they have heard rumours that some Orlando Pirates players have been injured.
She then painted the arena in white and crimson to urge more Simba fans to go in large numbers in order to fill it to capacity.
“Our opponents have lately not been exposed to many fans in the stadium that is why we want the venue to be full packed to show them that we have our targets in this contest,” she said.
When asked why the Orlando Pirates are arriving one day before the match, Gonzalez said they have their own preparations for arriving late rather than early as other teams do.
Simba has already been granted permission by CAF to host the game in front of a full house, allowing 60,000 fans to gather behind their club as they attempt to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Simba were allowed to have 35,000 spectators inside the arena during their group stage duels, which was a huge boost for them since they won all three of their home matches in front of their adoring fans.
Simba, on the other hand, were kept to a 0-0 draw by Polisi Tanzania, while Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC were also held to a scoreless draw.
In terms of standings, Simba are second with 41 points in the NBC Premier League, while Orlando Pirates are fourth with 39 points in the South Africa Premier Division, with Mamelodi Sundowns leading the league table with 57 points.
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