Simba and Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta’s move to two-time African champions TP Mazembe of DR Congo has hit a snag.
Simba’s plans to cash in on the gifted striker were derailed when African Lyon, his former club, asked the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to block his transfer, claiming that he is still their player.
Last week, Simba chairman Ismail Aden Rage revealed that the club had accepted TP Mazembe's request to recruit the player.
But yesterday, African Lyon sent a complaint letter to TFF accusing the Msimbazi Reds of not following proper channels when recruiting Samatta.
“Samatta is still our eligible player, his two-year contract with our club (African Lyon) is still valid,” the letter signed by the club’s secretary general, Brown Ernest, reads.
“He illegally featured for Simba during last season’s league and the Africa Champions League,” it further reads.
Brown claimed in the letter that they officially complained to TFF several times over Simba’s decision to use the player’s services, but to no avail.
“This does not mean we don’t want Saamatta to join TP Mazembe, far from that. We want Mazembe to contact us on the matter, and not Simba leadership,” the letter reads.
He threatened that they would not hesitate to take legal action against Simba should the national body fail to step in and block the player from crossing over to Mazembe without their blessing.
“We are very serious about this issue. Right now, we are in talks with our lawyers in the US as well as the Tanzania legal firm, Cuthbert Tenga on how to deal with the matter,” he said.
He warned that if TFF and Simba fail to comply with the club’s request they will be doing so at their peril.
When contacted for comment, TFF secretary general Angetile Osiah confirmed to the Citizen that they have received the letter and promised to work on it.
Samata, the 19-year-old player who features for both the national U-23 and senior teams, attracted the interest of TP Mazembe during the first round of the CAF Champions League.