The Swiss-based body quoted reports of accusations by local media that the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports has interfered with the operations of TFF. While the matter is free to debate, the latest development puts Tanzanian football in a quagmire because if FIFA goes ahead to suspend Tanzania, the country would be banned from all international competitions.
The suspension would consequently prevent Taifa Stars from participating in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and local clubs could not take part in African competitions. It is a shame that after almost a decade of rebuilding work, our football is likely to be crippled by the ongoing dysfunctional conflict between government and the TFF -- two key football stakeholders that should create mutual understanding and respect.
The conflict is the last thing our leaders; former President Benjamin Mkapa and incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete, deserve after all they have done to improve Tanzanian football. It is understood that the outgoing TFF president, Leodgar Tenga, has been in the good books of Fifa who have severally described him as the model leader in African football.
The former football legend is credited for rebuilding the image of the country’s football governing body and laying the foundation for the much-craved take-off. But he could hardly achieve his goals without the massive support by the heads of state. The third-phase President, Benjamin Mkapa, initiated the construction of the state-of-the-art National Stadium in Dar es Salaam during his last term in office, which is now the pride of the country. The 60,000-seater stadium has occupied a central part in the promotion and development of football.
In 2005, the government embarked on a drive to revive football in the country by hiring qualified coaches to train national teams. President Kikwete promised to bring in qualified coaches, and his government decided to bear the burden of paying for national team coaches, knowing that TFF could not afford it.
He hired Brazilian coach Marcio Maximo, who played a big role in promoting the country’s football, with his successors Jan Poulsen and now Kim Poulsen taking from where the previous left. No doubt, the head of state as well as his predecessor would be saddened by the ongoing standoff and both would like to see the sanity is restored before FIFA cracks the whip by suspending Tanzania.