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Thousands show up for first African Football League match in Tanzania

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony and inaugural game of the African Football League (AFL) between Simba of Tanzania and Al Ahly of Egypt   -  
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Euphoric supporters of the Simba Sports Club proudly wore their team's red and white colors as they lined up for tickets for the first match of the much-awaited African Football League, hosted by Tanzania, between their team and Egypt's Al Ahly team, in Dar es Salaam's Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.

The new African Football League, bringing together eight of the continent's top clubs, opened on Friday in the Tanzanian economic capital Dar es Salaam, in front of an enthusiastic crowd for a "historic match" between Simba Sports Club and Egyptian stars Al Ahly.

The first leg of this two-legged tie ended in a 2-2 draw, after an intense encounter witnessed by Fifa President Gianni Infantino and tens of thousands of supporters of Simba Sports Club, East Africa's leading club.

The Benjamin-Mkapa stadium was sold out for the launch of this tournament, created by CAF with the aim of "improving the quality of soccer in Africa and promoting the financial growth" of participating clubs.

Tanzanian fans from all over the country, proudly displaying their red and white colors, had converged on the 60,000-capacity stadium by 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT), ten hours before kick-off.