BURUNDI’s Thierry Nkurunziza has been named as the centre referee for next month’s Orange Confederation Cup preliminary round clash between SC Kiyovu and Simba of Tanzania.
Nkurunziza will handle the first leg which will be staged in Kigali (Amahoro stadium) alongside fellow countrymen Jean Claude Birumushahu and Jean Marie Hakizimana (assistant referees). The match commissioner is Abbas Sendyowa of Uganda.
The first leg is slated for February 19, while the return leg is planned for March 4 at Dar es Salaam’s National Stadium.
In the build-up to the first leg, the green baggies have lined up a friendly match against DRC’s Chinkuku next weekend.
Jean Baptist Kayiranga believes the match will test the players’ temperament ahead of the continental showpiece.
Simba are also said to have intensified their preparation by taking part in the Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar early this month. More recently, they played a friendly match against Kenya’s Tusker FC; APR’s first round opponents in the coveted Orange Caf Champions League.
The Tanzania side is eager to match their 1993 run when they reached the final only to lose to Ivory Coast’s Stella Abidjan. En route to the final, Simba ejected El Harrach of Algeria and Angola’s AS Aviacao.
Simba coach Milovan Cirkovic however concedes that he has to improve his squad before dreaming of reaching the final.
The winner between Kiyovu and Simba will face ESS of Algeria in the round of 16.Follow https://twitter.com/BonnieMugabe