Young Africans' president, Eng. Hersi Said: Image courtesy of Eng. Hersi Said

Young Africans’ president, Eng. Hersi Said: Image courtesy of Eng. Hersi Said

Young Africans’ supremo shows his class ahead of Sundowns duel

Young Africans’ top official has sent Mamelodi Sundowns a pleasant surprise ahead of their Caf Champions League quarterfinal meeting.

Young Africans' president, Eng. Hersi Said: Image courtesy of Eng. Hersi Said

Young Africans’ president, Eng. Hersi Said: Image courtesy of Eng. Hersi Said

Young Africans president, Eng. Hersi Said, has shown his class ahead of their Caf Champions League encounter against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday. The Tanzanian club’s supremo has sent the South Africans a special message on the eve of the quarterfinal match.

Eng.Hersi Said spoke to The South African ahead of the first-leg game at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. He said Young Africans have done all they could to give Sundowns a hearty welcome to Dar es Salaam. He added that football should be the ultimate winner after 90 minutes. The Tanzanian Mainland Premier League champions command a big fan-base in the East African nation.

Young Africans’ boss sends special message to Sundowns

“We are very happy and excited to host one of the top clubs in Africa at this level of Caf CL QF,” he said.  “As a President of the host team [Young Africans], I am taking this opportunity to welcome Sundowns to Tanzania. I ask them to feel at home. Tanzania is a very peaceful country and it is unique on its own.”

How Young Africans’ president views the Sundowns game

Eng.Hersi Said described the quarterfinal clash with the Tshwane-based outfit as “the most popular. We are looking forward to the best 90 minutes. Mamelodi Sundowns, KARIBUNI SANA [welcome].” Furthermore, he said the Tanzania Mainland Premier League champions have ticked all the boxes for the Caf Champions League regulations. Eng.Hersi Said added: “We have made all the necessary standard arrangements as per the Caf standards.”  

What other PSL teams felt about reception in Tanzania

Previously, other PSL teams such as Orlando Pirates have complained of ill-treatment in Tanzania. The Buccaneers made the accusations when they went to play a Caf Confederation Cup game against Simba in 2022. Simba eventually dismissed such claims. Young Africans are usually not associated with such allegations.

Eng.Hersi Said was referring to the regulations such as the obligations of host teams and association in the Caf Champions League. Caf website states that the host football association must ensure that the visiting side is treated well. It reads: “One bus for the players and one car for the officials…from the time of their arrival to that of their departure…the visiting association is responsible for organising the accommodation of its team. The host association is obliged to assist the visiting team with the reservation of the rooms.”

Know Tanzania’s other Caf Champions League representatives

The regulations further explain: “A playing ground will be provided for the training of the visiting team. The field on which the match itself will be played must be put at the disposal of the visiting team for one training session of sixty minutes on the eve of the game.” The Caf website adds that “in case of using an artificial turf, the visiting team shall have the right to two training sessions on the playing ground.”

Eng.Hersi Said’s Young Africans and Simba are representing Tanzania in the Caf Champions League quarterfinals. The other ties have holders Al Ahly taking on Simba SC on Friday whereas Esperance Sportive de Tunis face Asec Mimosa. Second-leg quarterfinal games are scheduled for the weekend of April 5 and 6, 2024.