TFF Honours Past Players With Lifelong Match Tickets
The Football Association of Tanzania (TFF) interim committee has completed the first phase of a project aimed at honouring former soccer players, coaches and referees who made major contributions to the game’s development.
Under the project, distinguished former players, coaches and referees have been provided with lifetime free passes to watch all soccer matches held anywhere in Tanzania.
The beneficiaries include former players who won the country the Gossage Cup and the Challenge Cup.
Another group is made up of players of the team that qualified for the 1980 Africa Nations Cup held in Lagos, Nigeria, that saw the host winning the coveted trophy.
The other category comprises two groups of coaches and referees who contributed immensely in the development of the game in Tanzania.
The list of honour starts with the surviving members of the Tanganyika team that won the Gossage Cup, for two consecutive years, in 1964 and 1965.
The players are Hamisi Kilomoni, Hamisi Fikirini, John Lyimo, Hemed Seif, Emil Kondo, Rashid Seif and Mathias Kissa.
Surviving players who took the nation to the first and the only Africa Nations Cup finals in the country’s history are Juma Pondamali, Ahmed Amasha, Adolf “Rishard” Mohamed, Salim Amir and Leodgar Tenga.
Others are Juma Mkambi, Mtemi Ramadhani, Omar Hussein, Mohamed Yahaya, Peter Tino and Hussein Ngulungu.
Those who won the nation the Challenge Cup in 1974 were Jella Mtagwa, Mohamed Bakari “Tall”, Lucas Nkondola and Zaharani Godfrey.
Referees are Gratian Matovu, Gwaza Mapunda, Kassim Chona Bundala, Mohamed Nyama, Hafidh Ally, Abdallah Rajab, Said Ally, Dustan Daffa and Mussa Lyaunga.
Coaches are Paul West Gwivaha (who died recently), Zacharia Kinanda, Mansour Magram and Hassan Mzibondo.
Taifa Stars’ coach, Charles Boniface Mkwassa, said FAT’s gesture was “commendable and shows they value the contribution made by former players in the development of soccer in the country.”
He, however, added that his only fear was that if the number of beficiaries was too big, it could affect gate collections.
He said the move would encourage other players in the country to work hard in the game’s development in the hope that whatever they contributed would not go unnoticed.
Hamisi Kilomoni who was in the 1964-65 Gossage Cup winning team praised the association’s programme saying FAT’s decision was not only timely, but also showed that the country had at last got the right crop of soccer leaders.
Kilomoni said one could not talk of future soccer development without looking at the past. “We ought to recognise our heroes since they are role models for the present players,” he said.
Citing the example of Britain’s Bobby Charlton, Kilomoni said: “The 1966 World Cup winner was recognised all over his country, the level of his low education notwithstanding, because of the contribution he had made in soccer for the country.”
He said the same could be said about Pele of Brazil. He was once given a Cabinet post in recognition of his role in his country’s soccer development.
The decision to provide former internationals with free passes was one of the FAT interim committee’s first act immediately they were appointed by the association’s general assembly meeting last September after suspending the FAT leadership.
But given the fact that there are many former internationals, the association decided to embark on the project selectively, starting only with players who had made illustrious contribution to soccer development.