Swimmers risk IFNA`s reprisal

Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA) is subject to reprisal from the Federation of International Swimming Associations if the Government continues meddling with their activities.

TSA’s technical director Marcelino Ngalinoma said the recent direct intervention by the Government on the activities of TSA has exposed the body to a possible punishment by FINA.

Ngalinoma said in conformity with FINA constitution’s bylaw number 13 on the autonomy of the national federation members of the body, FINA executive is entitled to take any appropriate decision in order to protect the benefit of the aquatic sport in any country.

These measures include suspension or expulsion from the FINA membership fleet if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in a country or national federation concerned, or any act by any Government or body provokes the activities of the national federation or expression of its will be hampered.

He said once FINA has punished a country it usually takes a lengthy time to win back membership reinstatement.

Ngalinoma said he has informed the director of sports in the ministry for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, Leonard Thadeo, on the consequences of Government interference on the operations of national swimming association.

He said the recent activities are clear indications of the Government interference on the operations of TSA.

He alleged that the Government refused to grant them a permission to travel to Mozambique at elevenths hour on grounds of fielding swimmers from well to do families.

“We have informed the Government on the consequences of direct involvement into the operations of our association, though we can not operate without the Government but it should know the limits,” he said.

Ngalinoma went on to say that FINA is closely following all activities in Tanzania and if they found that there is too much Government interference into TSA activities, they would certainly act.

The first notable Government intervention was the blocking of selected team of swimmers from competing in the

World Championship staged in Shanghai last July.

The team was fully paid return flight tickets to the championship venue as

FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu on July 14 this year wrote to the minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Emmanuel Nchimbi, asking him to release swimming trio for the Shanghai event.

Already TSA has paid a fine of $200 to FINA as a result of swimmers missing the Shanghai world championships due to Government blockade.

He also said TSA is just keeping its fingers crossed so that the Government should not meddle with their next year Turkey FINA world swimming championships.

“We have lined up three swimmers to championships next year, but our concern is that the trend of the Government would possibly spoil the entire party. We hope the Government will reverse its stance on us and leave us to operate freely,” he said.

The swimmers have been extended an invitation to compete at Uganda Open and East and Central Africa championships that get underway on October 22.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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