Several clubs have accused Simba SC for falsifying COVID-19 test results ©Getty Images

Al-Merrikh are calling for Simba SC to be thrown out of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League after accusing the Tanzanian side of falsifying coronavirus test results.

Ahmed Abbas, legal adviser for Al-Merrikh, revealed the Sudanese club had filed a complaint against Simba to the CAF in a bid to get them disqualified from the tournament.

The furore comes after Al-Merrikh were informed that eight players had tested positive for coronavirus ahead of their away clash against Simba on March 16.

After failing to get the match postponed, Al-Merrikh went on to lose 3-0 as Simba increased their lead at the top of Group A.

Abbas said the eight players returned negative results following further COVID-19 tests.

"A delegate from Simba Club, not from the Tanzania Football Federation, handled the team’s coronavirus tests, which saw eight players test positive," Abbas told Sada El-Balad TV.

"After we received the news about the eight players we asked for a postponement, because it’s logical that if there are eight injured, then the rest of the players may carry the virus.

"CAF’s official response was to refuse to postpone.

"We then realized that the players infected were the backbone of the team.

"Simba’s coach, Didier Gomes, was Al-Merrikh’s coach and he knows which are the most important players of the team.

"The players went to the lab and did the second analysis without informing them they were Al-Merrikh players, and their results came out negative.

"We filed a complaint against Simba calling for their exclusion from the CAF Champions League, based on the CAF rules regarding result-fixing."

Al Merrikh boss Lee Clark was without eight key players against Simba after they returned COVID-19 positive test results ©Getty Images
Al Merrikh boss Lee Clark was without eight key players against Simba after they returned COVID-19 positive test results ©Getty Images

Luis Miquissone, Mohamed Hussein and Chris Mugalu struck for Simba as they inflicted a third defeat on Al-Merrikh who sit bottom of the group with just one point from four matches.

Al Merrikh boss Lee Clark also blamed the alleged tampering of COVID-19 tests for his side’s defeat at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

"Many things happened before the game," Clark told Goal.

"We arrived in Tanzania we have problems at the airport, we have problems at the training ground, we have problems at the Covid, we have eight players test positive for Covid-19, six of those players are in my starting 11, very well known to the opposition coach, the other two are very experienced players, who would come on later in the game.

"We are also being made aware one of our other top players is safe, who the rival coach was obviously trying to make him not available also, so there was confusion there so we have finally reported to CAF and we would like some answers because since we landed here on Saturday we have not been given any help."

Nigerian outfit Plateau United and Zimbabwean side FC Platinum have also levelled similar allegations at Simba in recent months.

Last December, Plateau coach Abdula Maikaba said two of his "key" players tested positive denying them the chance to face Simba.

He claimed the pair tested negative before leaving Nigeria and again at a hospital in Tanzania after the game.

"I don’t understand why some African teams use home advantage opportunity to cheat their opponents," said Maikaba, as reported by The Guardian.

"CAF must look into this to avoid bringing bad image to African Football."

A month later, FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo told PanAfricanFootball there was a "clear and deliberate violation of protocol" after five players and one official tested positive, allegedly after handing over COVID-19 test results to Simba officials.

insidethegames has contacted both Simba SC and the CAF for comment.