Z`bar FIFA membership bid stalls
Zanzibar should forget about securing membership from the world soccer governing body owing to its lack of sovereignty, FIFA’s development officer for Southern African countries Ashford Mamelodi declared yesterday.
Mamelodi was responding to a query raised by sports writers who attended a press conference organised by the Tanzania Football Federation, TFF, in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The FIFA instructor has been in the country for almost a week attending TFF’s executive meeting that ended over the weekend in Dar es Salaam.
He said FIFA is not in a position to provide double membership for a single country and TFF remains as the sole soccer authority in Tanzania.
Zanzibar will continue to share what the TFF receives from FIFA in terms of grants and representation at its congress will only be limited to TFF leaders.
“It’s completely wrong for Zanzibar to seek FIFA membership while Tanzania has already secured one with TFF as the sole body to run soccer activities in the country,” said Mamelodi.
Mamelodi said FIFA did not query why TFF has diverted part of its goal project to facilitate face lifting of the Gombani Stadium in Pemba.
“We know Pemba is part of Tanzania and TFF had the right to extend the project to every part of Tanzania, Zanzibar inclusive,” said Mamelodi.
He also said Tanzania national soccer team has a blend of players from Zanzibar at international representation, particularly World Cup qualifiers.
Mamelodi was open on the issue of TFF leaders who attends FIFA annual congress, hinting that only those eligible to attend the sessions. He said FIFA is extending invitation to leaders of its affiliated fleet of members across the globe, including TFF and not any other ones.
“FIFA is only recognising TFF leaders who have been constitutionally elected and no body else,” said Mamelodi. Of late Zanzibar Football Association (ZFA) leaders have been complaining on TFF’s dominance on attending FIFA meetings and annual general assemblies.
FIFA would continue to communicate with TFF as the sole soccer authority and no other body, so says Mamelodi.
Mamelodi’s latest revelations have come at the right time as leaders of TFF and ZFA are set to hold a joint session in Dar es Salaam today.
The TFF-ZFA verbal war has hit headlines in local press with the former snubbing the later on improper use of FIFA grants. ZFA president Ali Ferej Tamim has been highly critical on TFF while winning support from Hafidh Ali.
FIFA donates $250,000 on annual basis through TFF for development of soccer in Tanzania.