Why Mamelodi Sundowns & Al Ahly carried own food, drinks to Tanzania for CAF Champions League ties

Simba and Al Ahly during their CAF Champions League match in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Photo: Al Ahly X.

Why Mamelodi Sundowns & Al Ahly carried own food, drinks to Tanzania for CAF Champions League ties

Joel Omotto 16:00 - 31.03.2024

Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly raised eyebrows when they carried their won food and drinks to Dar es Salaam for their CAF Champions League matches against Yanga and Simba.

South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns and their Egyptian counterparts Al Ahly carried their own food and drinks when they went to Tanzania for their respective CAF Champions League matches.

Sundowns took on Tanzanian champions Yanga in the first leg of their quarter-final tie, which ended goalless on Saturday, while Al Ahly won 1-0 against Simba on Friday, both matches played at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

However, their arrival earlier in the week sparked some curiosity when both teams touched down with unusually large luggage.

Al Ahly arrived in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, March 27 while Sundowns touched down a day later and in their luggage, they had food, drinks and water drums.

All these are things that are available locally but the decision to carry their own sparked curiosity in Tanzania.

While it is still not known why they opted to go that route, it is believed the two teams were wary of incidents of sabotage after recent complaints from rival teams who visited Dar es Salaam for continental matches.

Early this month, Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy accused Simba SC of underhand tactics, including allegations of food poisoning, before their CAF Champions League clash in Dar es Salaam.

Galaxy suffered a 6-0 thrashing in Dar es Salaam, as Simba sealed their place in the quarter-final, but their coach Morena Ramoreboli has made a number of allegations, suggesting that their hosts deliberately frustrated his team’s preparations before the match.

“On Thursday, we had those fruits and different foods that were also available on the menu that day, there were no complaints. I did not eat on Friday, I only drank juice but when I woke up the following day, it was as though I was drunk,” said Ramoreboli.

“About five players could not wake up on matchday as the doctor tried everything to assist. Meaning on Friday, we don’t know what but something was done to the food. Not only to the players but also for the members of the technical staff.

“We don’t really know what happened. We tried to speak to the management of the hotel before about suspicion of food poisoning only to realise that something had already been done to the food. Unfortunately, we don’t really know what they did and who did that to the food.”

Incidents of sabotage are not new in African football as a number of teams have complained of bad treatment from their hosts before, during and after matches around the continent over the years.