Plateau United petition CAF over ‘false’ COVID-19 tests, expect Simba’s disqualification
• It’s terrible playing away games in African football, says Maikaba
Plateau United Coach, Abdul Maikaba, has described away matches in African football as a terrible experience marked by foul tactics deployed by some home teams to win matches.
Maikaba told The Guardian on arrival from Tanzania yesterday that Plateau United’s goalless draw with Simba FC in the CAF Champions League in Dar-es-Salaam was a result of underhand tactics deployed by the home side.
He alleged that Tanzanian officials accused two of their players falsely of being COVID-19 positive simply to stop them from playing in the game, adding that Plateau United has sent a protest letter to CAF over the incidence.
Maikaba were poised to earn a positive result in Tanzania before the key players were stopped from playing in the game.
“When the players and officials of Plateau United were tested in Nigeria for COVID-19, the result came out negative. On arriving in Tanzania, we presented the test results to the immigration officials. They now conducted another test on the team five minutes before the game and told the match commissioner that our two key players, who were supposed to start the game, tested positive.
“The entire team was surprised, but we could not complain to avoid CAF sanctions. I discovered that they picked out these two players, Sunday Adetunji and Ibrahim Abubakar because of the way they destabilised Simba FC players in the first leg.
“Right from the moment we arrived, one of our key players was harassed and detained on the excuse that his passport was not stamped.
“We had to rally round to settle the issue. To make you understand that the people, who carried out the COVID-19 test were biased, the name of our commissioner, who was registered as a member of the delegation, but did not travel with us because of government assignment, came out in the list of COVID-19 positive people,” he said.
The coach revealed that after the game, they secretly went to a hospital in Tanzania to test the players alleged to be COVID-19 positive, and the result came out negative.
“These are evidences that have been submitted to CAF. The NFF official in the delegation saw what happened.
“I don’t understand why some African teams use home advantage opportunity to cheat their opponents. CAF must look into this to avoid bringing bad image to African Football.”
Maikaba expressed optimism that CAF would react positively to Plateau United’s protest, adding, “we are expecting the result of the letter before the next round of the CAF Champions League matches. If Plateau United get Justice, Simba FC will be disqualified and Plateau United will get the ticket to proceed to the next round of the competition.” He revealed that the Jos-based team arrived in Abuja yesterday because they spent a night in Ethiopia before getting a flight to Nigeria.