Zanzibar Football Association’s president Ali Fereji Tamim is reported to be in poor health and has taken an indefinite leave since January.
The sad news was broken by his vice-president Haji Ameir during a press conference held at the soccer body’s headquarters located inside the Bwawani Hotel here yesterday.
He said Tamim has asked to be exempted from duties until he recovers from the sickness.
In absence of the president, Ameir is now taking full charge of the association matters until further changes.
“It is not true that our president intends to step down as most of the people have been circulating this false news across Zanzibar,” said Ameir.
Ameir said Tamim’s health is steadily improving and might be available once he recovers fully.
He said Tamim’s absence does not mean he is seriously sick but to be on the safe side and keep smooth flow of the administration matters is better for him to take some rest.
Ameir declined to give details of Tamim’s sickness but confirmed that he is now resting at his home village of Chuini in southern Unguja.
Tamim has been in power as ZFA president for over two decades and managed to retain the post at the end of the general election conducted in Pemba in December 2010.
He won the election barely a year after declaring not to contest for the post only to make a U-turn as FIFA membership bid for Zanzibar gained tempo.
However, ever since he returned to power, his health has been unstable and was frequently missing at the office.
He was a conspicuous miss during the recent seminar that involved coaches, referees and administrators staged at the Amaan Stadium here last week.
Tamin and his colleagues have been under strong criticism in connection with down falling standard of soccer in the Isles.
Most of the soccer stakeholders here have been blaming the ZFA leadership for inefficient administrative strategies that culminates to the steadily falling soccer standard.