AMAVUBI skipper and Simba Sports Club playmaker Haruna Niyonzima will miss the ‘Mapinduzi’ tournament which will be held in Zanzibar due to injury.
Simba will play against Mwenge FC while rivals Yanga Africans play with Mlandege FC, at Amaan Stadium where the winners will meet in the final.
According to Simba’s interim coach Djuma Masudi, the Rwandan international midfielder is nursing an ankle injury which rules him out for a week while Laudit Mavugo has not joined the team since the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup which ended last month in Kenya where Burundi finished in fourth position.
Niyonzima and Mavugo missed the win over Ndanda FC as they were replaced by Emmanuel Okwi and Shomary Kapombe.
However, former Rayon Sports manager Djuma Masudi registered his first league win as interim head coach with Tanzanian powerhouse Simba SC since taking over the club’s hot seat on December 25.
On Sunday afternoon, Simba overcome Ndanda FC in a 2-0 win, thanks to a brace from striker John Bocco in the 52nd and 56th minutes at Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium. The victory saw Simba climbing to the top of the table standings with 26 points from 12 games.
The Burundian tactician who joined Simba as assistant coach last October, was named interim head coach ten days ago after the club fired head coach Joseph Omog. Masudi parted ways with Rayon Sports last summer after leading the Blues to their first league title in four years.
However, the biggest test for Masudi’s future with the 18-time Tanzanian league champions Simba will come on January 13 when they host Singida United which has three Rwanda international players, Michel Rusheshangoga, Danny Usengimana and Gentil Kambale Salita (Pappy Kamanzi).
Masudi will also face a big test on March 3 when his side face traditional archrivals Young Africans.
Simba top the league table standings with 26 points, same tally as second-placed Azam FC, but the former lead courtesy of a better goal difference.
Singida FC are third with 23 points while Young Africans complete the top four with 21 points. Struggling Stand United are bottom of the 16-team table with 7 points.