Warm reception awaits Rollers in Dar es Salaam as they aim for group stage first

04 Mar 2018

A very hospitable and huge Tanzanian support is expected to throw their weight behind Township Rollers this coming Tuesday when they face off against Young Africans in the first leg of their CAF champions league encounter.

According to sources, Young Africans cross town bitter rivals Simba SC supporters are gearing to cheer Rollers to victory this coming Tuesday. Simba SC is a splinter football team from Young Africans and the two teams have formed what is now one of the biggest rivalries on the African continent.

Reports from Tanzania indicate that the well known rowdy noise from Simba fans will be determined to ensure that Rollers feel at home against Yanga. With a rich history in the Tanzanian football arena, it is said that bragging rights for the town has since sparked the rivalry between the two clubs. It has emerged that the rivalry has escalated beyond bounds and that either supporters will grin at their rivals loss.

On several occasions in 2011 and 2015, supporters of both clubs cheered opponents when rivals played in continental competitions. In 2011 it was reported that Yanga fans put on Congo DR side jerseys and cheered TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions league match.

In a vengeance mission in 2015 against TP Mazembe when Yanga hosted the Congo DR club in Dar es Salaam at the National stadium, Simba fans put on Mazembe replicas and cheered the visitors. It is said that rivalry between the two clubs is at a heated stage as it has now been elevated to illegal betting when the two clubs clash in the local derby.

In another unlikely circumstance in 2015, Simba supporters rewarded Gor Mahia’s Kenya international Micheal Olunga for downing rivals Yanga in the CEcafa Kagame cup. The Kenyan Premier League side won the match and Tanzanian press reported that Simba fans could not resist Olunga’s contribution and rewarded him with their club replica jersey and monetary incentives after the match.

In an interview with Sunday Standard, Rollers mouthpiece Bafana Pheto said it will be a morale boost for the team to be cheered by a faction of the Tanzanians. “We are not aware that some supporters will be backing us but it will definitely be a driving force for us to achieve positive results away from home,’’ said Pheto.

He added that they are positive that the team will bring home positive results as they have a target to reach group stages of the CAF Champions league. “There is just a lot of energy and excitement in the club and we believe that we will reach our goal of featuring in the group stages of the tournament this season,’’ Pheto told Sunday Standard.

Winners of the two legged encounter will go through to the group stages of the tournament. Yanga’s best appearance in the champions’ league was in 1998 when they reached the group stages, while Rollers on the other hand is seeking to make history by making their first appearance in the group stages of the tournament.