Simba players all clustered around an unfamiliar burning item in the center of the pitch, which has led to accusations of witchcraft.
The second leg of the CAF Confederations Cup quarterfinal between Orlando Pirates and Simba SC was predicted to be dramatic, but the escapades started earlier.
Simba players were spotted cowering around the circle, dancing harmonically during warm-ups.
Except for a small cloud of smoke soaring from this tight circle of players, this would be nothing out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately, the ritual had no influence on the result of the Confederations Cup quarterfinal second leg, which the Buccaneers won on penalties.
As shameful as it may seem, Simba SC of Tanzania will have themselves to blame after being eliminated from the CAF Confederations Cup by Orlando Pirates.
The club has also been sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football for engaging in “hazardous rituals” after the Tanzanian side were seen for over 2 minutes congregating in the center circle of Orlando Stadium ahead of their quarter-final second leg, with smoke visible enough emanating from the middle of the group.
Pirates filed an official complaint about the visitors’ shenanigans, and match officials noted the behavior in their match report.
This did not sit well with the continent’s football governing body, which took action, according to iDiskiTimes.
In a statement on its official website, CAF said;
“Simba SC players lit the fire in the centre circle exactly at the starting point as they pretended to pray before the match started. We had to pour water on the fire to put it out before we could start the game. Furthermore, Orlando Pirates club sent a complaint about the incident and the damage which occurred to the pitch. Photos and footage of the incident were also shared by CAF officials.”
Simba was permitted to share its account of events before CAF found the Tanzanian side guilty of “hazardous rituals” and fined them N3880000 ($10 000).
The CAF’s statement continued:
“After having heard the arguments of the parties concerned, analysed the videos and images in its possession, CAF Disciplinary Board has decided to impose the following sanctions for failure to comply and implement existing safety rules: 10.000 USD (Ten Thousand US Dollars) for the performance of hazardous rituals by your players before the start of the match.”
The fine must be paid within 60 days, according to CAF, and Simba has three days to file an appeal.
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