MAPINDUZI Cup holders, Simba have pledged to retain their trophy in the tournament that kicks off at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar on January 1, 2023.
The club’s Media Communication Manager, Ahmed Ally, made the vow yesterday when speaking to the ‘Daily News’ about the team preparation ahead of the forthcoming tournament that has attracted teams from the Tanzania Mainland, Isles and Burundi.
Ally disclosed that Simba travel to Isles this Sunday with their full squad since they are taking the tournament seriously while also targeting to defend the title they clinched in the previous tournament.
Simba beat Azam in the finals held at Amaan Stadium on January 13th this year.
Adding, he said they are taking the tournament seriously as they support the Zanzibar Revolution, which marks its 59th anniversary on January 12th next year.
Simba also value the tournament because they want to reward their Isles supporters whom they missed for a long time.
According to Ally, the Msimbazi Street-based side will travel to Zanzibar with all their players as they are taking the tournament as part of the drills for the CAF Champion League’s group stage.
“We will be with our new players recruited during the mini-transfer window.
We have already signed Saido Ntibazonzikiza from Geita Gold and we expect to add more foreign players,” he unveiled.
Twelve teams have been listed to compete in the Mapinduzi Cup with six of them from Zanzibar, five from Tanzania Mainland and the guest team; Aigle Noir Makamba from Burundi.
Teams from Mainland apart from the defending champions Simba are Young Africans, Azam, Namungo and Singida Big Stars, who will be playing in the tournament for the first time.
From Zanzibar there are KVZ, KMKM, Malindi, Mlandege, Jamhuri and Chipukizi. The winner of this year’s event will pocket a 30m/- cash prize a trophy ad gold medals, while the runners-up will take home a 20m/- cash prize and silver medals.
In the history of the tournament, Azam commands the Mapinduzi Cup tally having won it five times.
They won the tournament in 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Simba won the title three times in 2011, 2015 and 2022.
In third place are Mtibwa Sugar and Young Africans, who have won it twice.
Mtibwa Sugar won it in 2010 and 2020, while Young Africans won it in 2004 and 2021.
Other teams that have won this title are Jamhuri, Polisi, KMKM, Mafunzo, Malindi, Miembeni, Kampala City Council, and Uganda Revenue Authority.
By Clecence Kunambi