Abdul Maikaba believes Simba SC of Tanzania’s underhand tactics and their connivance with Tanzanian Health Authorities was responsible for Plateau United early exit from the Preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
Maikaba affirmed that Plateau United would lodge a protest to CAF itemising the ill-treatment meted out to them from when they arrived Dar res Salaam until the end of the encounter on Saturday.
The Peace Boys needed an outright victory against Simba in Tanzania but they were held to a goalless by the hosts in Dar-Es-Salaam. Their 1-0 home loss proved to be their albatross as they were eliminated 1-0 on aggregate at the very first hurdle.
Maikaba thumbed up the performance of his players who he claimed stepped up their game in Tanzania but he blamed the hosts for going against rules of fair play and sportsmanship to advance in the competition.
“Actually our performance was far better than what we played at home because, with the experience of the game we played in Jos, we understood our opponent more and planned our strategy very well,” Maikaba noted.
“If not for the pranks played by Simba, they played a lot of pranks outside the game to ensure they frustrate us.’’
“It got to an extent where they tried to stop some of our players entry into their country. They kept wasting our time at the airport and they pinpoint two players, Sunday Adetunji and Abubakar Ibrahim because they performed well in Jos, they didn’t want them to be part of the game, including our goalkeeper.
“When we arrived at our hotel, we met some medical officials who said we have to undergo COVID-19 tests. We got in late, needed to train for an hour which was the time they gave us to use the match venue, yet they were insisting we have the tests.
“We asked that they come back 30 minutes so we train but they refused and informed us they will return in 10 minutes but they didn’t return until 2 hours later. So, we left them and went on with our training. They eventually returned, did the tests and held on to it till we concluded our warm-up to the match.”
He further narrated that “Five minutes to kick-off, the match commissioner informed us that five of our players tested positive to COVID-19. The information shocked us, we knew it was their plan to frustrate and intimidate us. We told them we won’t play the match because the result is coming late.”
“Later, the catch commissioner returned with a different list that had two players, Sunday Adetunji, Abubakar Ibrahim who were their main targets, our general manager, my chief coach and one other official,” Coach Maikaba said.