THE journalist turned lottery guru, Abbas Tarimba, recently made a very important point that is worthy revisiting in my sports column.
He said it was time both the government and the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) in particular, ‘talked’ the country’s betting companies into sponsoring our local soccer clubs in the Mainland Premier League.
Tarimba said betting companies were making a lot of money and it was only fair that the teams that enabled them to make money through the fans’ betting should play the corporate role of putting back to the community. I totally agree with Tarimba on this issue.
Indeed, the government, and in particular, the TFF need to work on this. Our clubs need sponsorship and in particular from betting companies which make money from, among others, football locally and internationally. Tarimba’s SportPesa is already doing exactly that through its sponsorship of the country’s big guns, Simba and Young Africans.
It is time other Tanzania based betting companies, which are branches of international betting companies, shared part of their profits they made in this country by sponsoring at least our premier soccer clubs. What Tarimba has done through his suggestion is make use of the massive experience he has gathered in the lottery business by opening our eyes on what goes behind betting.
And, it is our responsibility to act, and fast at that, on his suggestions. We need to work on whatever tips we are given by our well informed colleagues who have, through training, experience and exposure, gathered massive knowledge on how to manage sport.
Unless we listen to these voices of reason, we will never make it in soccer which is increasingly becoming very scientific in its way of running and managing it. I have been forced to note Tarimba’s contribution because after he had said what he said on betting companies, I had expected to see efforts, especially from the TFF on the suggestion.
But to date, I’m yet to hear follow on such an important suggestion that was made by a person who is well informed about betting business.
The other thing that requires follow up from our premier league clubs is the statement made by a spokesman for the National Sports Council (NSC) on the presence, in galore, of highly qualified graduates on physical education.
On Saturday last week, I wrote in my Sportscene column on such physical education graduates produced, every year, by the University of Dar es Salaam at the Hill and the Chang’ombe based Dar es Salaam University of Education, DUCE.
According to the NSC, we have a sizeable number of physical education graduates who could, scientifically, train soccer players to a level which is equivalent to or even better and higher than foreign coaches we have lately become obsessed with.
For instance, there is this foreign African coach from the Democratic Republic of Congo that one of our top clubs in the country is planning to rope in. I have personally no problem hiring any foreign coach, bet it from Africa or from Europe. My problem is; have we satisfied ourselves on the qualification of such coaches?
Have we for instance, asked ourselves whether or not the qualification of those foreign coaches is higher than what we already have in the country in the form of physical education graduates?
Apart from being well trained in coaching any sports, including soccer, physical education graduates are also trained on the physiology of a human being which includes, among others, what to eat and what not to eat, how to train and how not to train.
For until and unless a coach is well informed both on the physiology and working of a human body, he or she would be incapable of improving, through training, the capability of any sports player.
After the NSC’s statement a few weeks ago over the presence, in galore, of our own trained physical education graduates, it is my hope that our soccer clubs, especially in the local premier league will make use of these graduates.
The sooner our clubs start making use of our locally produced coaches the better. Besides, unlike foreign coaches, our locally trained coaches know not only the train they are supposed to work in, but they can use both languages, Kiswahili and English at ease.
We all know, language is one of the problems most of our local players face from foreign coaches. After the NSC’s statement, we now have a choice. Let us get our locally trained coaches and save our hard, earned foreign currency at home.
Instead of spending between twenty and seventy thousand US dollars on a foreign coach, why not use the equivalent in local currency and save foreign currency for financing our imports? Consider the following. Our hard earned foreign currency could be better spent in buying equipment for training in our gyms, buses for our players and so on and so forth.