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Give National Stadium committed management

Carelessness has again caused the nation another big shame that would take long time to be forgotten in the country’s soccer history.

What happened during the Kagame Cup prize presentation ceremony last Sunday at the National Stadium reflects a high degree of irresponsibility by some of the complex’s staff.

Although most of the attacks, blames and counter-blames targeted the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), we can in no way rule out poor accountability of the stadium’s staff.

The question of inadequate power supply that has necessitated power rationing is not new in the country and everyone knows inside out how unreliable electricity supply is in the country.

How on earth could the stadium management rely solely on the supply of electricity from Tanesco at a time when the responsible minister had declared power crisis a national disaster?

How could such a big complex lack a standby generator to be used in time of power crisis like the one that prevailed during the Kagame Cup?

The 37-year old regional football championship has now attracted a big number of followers in and outside the region.

Fortunately, this year’s championship was beamed live by high-profile television and radio networks around the world.

The Sunday blackout coming at exactly when the tournament had reached its peak has certainly tarnished the image of the whole nation.

Who could offer an acceptable explanation to any foreigner demanding answers to the cause of the power outage incident?

We are of the view that the Tanzania Football federation (TFF) and the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) too have a share of the blame.

Installation and servicing standby generator was expected to be of prime importance especially on the final day to curb any incident that would have stained the entire hard work done by the other stakeholders to organise the tourney.

Twice before, there have been incidents related to collapse of compact disk when the national anthems were supposed to be played ahead of international matches.

The last was a failure of the compact disk when Tanzania and Brazil played an international friendly at the same venue before President Jakaya Kikwete on July 7, last year.

For how long would negligence continue to haunt the nation? How do other people outside the country perceive our state of affairs in terms of integrity and accountability?

Although a committee has been formed to carry out investigation over the exact nature of the incident, it remains an indispitubale fact that something is awfully wrong.

Deliberate efforts must be deployed to ensure the state-of-the-art National Stadium is kept far from incidents that bring shame to the country and its people.

Management by gambling must be avoided as ugly incidents in a stadium carrying up to 60,000 people might cause calamities with possible loss of life to spectators. The National Stadium needs dedicated leadership.

We hope the special committee appointed to carry out the investigation would come up with a detailed report that explains the entire dreadful episode.



Written by Israel Saria

For the last 20 years I have been working as a football pundit. This experience has provided me with a very useful insight into football and the opportunity to carry out extensive research into the game including its players, the stadiums, the rules and tactics and I have also been grateful to meet a wide range of people connected to football in the UK, Tanzania, Germany .....

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