The Tanzania Football Federation stand on the saga involving Ugandan Moses Basena, who has just been dropped as Simba Sports Club head coach, leaves more questions than answers with respect to how we hire and fire for foreign players and trainers.
Basena signed what was supposed to be a two-year contract with the national soccer greats and coached the team for a whole six months. Very strangely, with the tactician having been controversially shown the door, the TFF Legal, Ethics and Players Committee now wants the world to believe that there was no legally binding pact between the two sides after all.
“Clarification” on the position came after Basena appealed to the federation, seeking assistance after Simba not only argued that there was no contract between the two parties but also refused to pay him his benefits.
The TFF committee, sitting under the chairmanship of lawyer Alex Mgongolwa, agreed with Simba and insisted that Basena worked in Tanzania illegally during the six-month stint as he was without a work permit.
The committee also claimed that Simba asked TFF to write the Immigration Department requesting for Basena’s work permit, but the federation could not authorise the request as the coach failed to furnish it with the relevant testimonials to support his case.
Yet during the said six months, Basena was in fact in charge of the team’s technical bench both on and off the pitch as witnessed doing by TFF and Immigration Department officials as well as by the larger public. Question: How can a foreign coach for a big club like Simba engage in business without a work permit for any length of time?
We all know that TFF’s rules and regulations stipulate that any foreign coach employed by any club or even the national team must have a valid work permit.
In the circumstances, the committee ought to have asked Basena and Simba Sports Club to come together and resolve the matter amicably and not otherwise, of course by ensuring that there was no evidence of the laws of the land having been contravened.
It is now reported that distraught Basena is planning to take the matter to the Confederation of African Football, where he believes that justice will be done.
That is something TFF could have avoided had it adhered to its own rules and regulations as well as the country’s laws from the very beginning.
Simba have since engaged coach Milovan Circkovic, who is said to have already signed a six-month contract. But the Serbian was not allowed to sit on the technical bench before he got a work permit, which is as it should be. That is perhaps why Basena still insists that he has a valid contract with Simba which must be respected by both parties.
Following this saga, we are convinced that there is something terribly wrong with the way we treat contracts with foreign players and trainers.
To forestall repetitions of embarrassing situations of this nature, TFF must abide by its own rules and regulations and with the country’s laws.