What to expect from TFF elections

With the election of the new Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) officials just around the corner, we are about to witness another era of how the most popular sport in this country, football, will be managed.

The election, set for December 14, in Dar es Salaam, has attracted 47 aspirants in different positions.

The one that is most awaited is that of the presidency which pits the incumbent president Leodegar Tenga against Richard Lukambula and Jamal Malinzi.

Another crucial seat is that of the first vice-president. Michael Wambura Lawrence Mwalusako and Athumani Nyamlani who are in the race for the position.

Looking at the list of eligible candidates, we quickly get a hint on what the sport should expect in the coming years.

We can safely say that the criteria used for choosing future officials have ignored an important aspect – professionalism.

The recent events in our football should have been a lesson, but taking into account TFF election process, we should have a rough idea that the situation is not likely to change for the better.

After several defeats suffered by the national team during the World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifying tournaments, the football fans are disillusioned about the level reached by the national football team, Taifa Stars.

Of late, for no obvious reason related to the quality levels reached in our football, we`ve been talking positively about the national team.

Of course there have been efforts that have seen the national team rise in FIFA rankings to the 32nd and 105th positions on the African continent and world respectively.

But we`ve enough experience of how previous officials of the federation have been shuffling the organisation`s leadership, playing with fans` emotional reactions and conflict of interests.

This tendency has ruined the sport in the country.

For example, they used incompetent and corrupt but subservient persons to run football affairs to the point that the government and Fifa have had to intervene to save the situation.

To date the government has been paying Taifa Stars` coach, but recently President Jakaya Kikwete directed TFF to start meeting the costs of the national team coach.

This means that the leaders of the federation who`ll soon be elected must be a committed people given the heavy responsibility awaiting them.

They should realise that Tanzanian football needs much improvement and this calls for hard work on their part – to bring the sport out of its current poor status in Africa and in the world.

The ongoing TFF election is a positive step. But the most important message is clear: Our (Tanzanian) football is suffering from fundamental problems.

We need to overhaul its management immediately and our hope for the future lies in professionalism.

  • SOURCE: Sunday Observer

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