The International Tennis Federation, ITF, has cancelled a money spinning tournament that was supposed to be held in Dar es Salaam later in November on grounds of poor infrastructure.
ITF inspectors` team were not satisfied with the tennis courts and the entire set up of courts that would have to be used to stage the tournament which is also sanctioned by the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT).
Tanzania was chosen by ITF and CAT to host the 18 and under International tournament but inspectors’ report disapproved the available infrastructure.
The inspectors’ disapproval has frustrated the Tanzania Tennis Association (TTA).
The body’s secretary general, Inger Njau, has urged the corporate world to come to the rescue of tennis in the country for sponsorship packages sought to construct modern courts.
According to Njau, the team found that the country can not host such an international tournament due to inadequate and poor courts.
She said the inspectors insisted that for any country to host ITF and CAT games it should have more than 4 big and good courts, which Tanzania lacks.
She said ITF and CAT also insisted the courts to have modern digital scoreboard and washrooms, among other things.
Njau said to construct one modern court it needs more than 30m/- to meet the capital expenditures.
She lamented that the country has missed the biggest opportunity as many top players would have competed in search of ITF ranking points.
However, Njau, as a veteran player and administrator with experience in developing talent from grassroots level in the country, said she was aware that some companies were still struggling financially but believes they could still assist.
“The issue of sponsorship is still our major problem affecting development of the game in a different way, but we are still appealing to the corporate world to come and assist us with sponsorship”, she said.
And in related development, the national youth tennis coach, Hassan Kasim, said due to lack of money and other challenges the country will not send tennis junior players for the ITF World Junior Tennis Competition qualifiers set for Algeria next month.
He could not disclose other reasons behind failure to send the team to Algeria, saying they are more technical.
The World Junior Tennis competition is an ITF tournament for players aged 14-and-under.
The Algeria games are for qualifying for the World Junior Tennis finals set for Prostejov, Czech Republic in August.
He said besides the qualifying berth for world Championship, the games would have also been used as a learning curve for youngsters
Kasim said the missed games will run concurrently with the African regional qualifying event for the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas but Tanzania team has been ruled out.