Zanzibar Football Association, (ZFA) has made a U-turn as it mulls a merger with the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) following the collapse of FIFA membership bid.
The resolution to work closely with the TFF was reached at the body’s meeting of the executive members held at the Bwejuu Township in Southern Unguja on March 17.
ZFA vice-president Haji Ameir announced at a press conference held at the Bwawani Hotel here yesterday that working with TFF is the best option as of now.
Ameir said selected members of the TFF would be given special seats during annual general meeting of ZFA and vice versa so as to strengthen cooperation between the two football authorities.
However, before the proposal is implemented, there is a need for adjustments of the two football bodies’ constitution to accommodate the changes.
“We have come into agreement with the ZFA executive members that there is a need to admit officials from the TFF secretariat into our annual general meeting,” said Ameir.
The vice-president said there has to be negotiations with the TFF officials to weigh the possibilities ahead of its implementation.
Ameir said the new development has come after the latest changed effected by the Confederation of African Football so as to improve Zanzibar’s soccer promotion.
ZFA has been adamant to back down of its urgent quest of seeking FIFA membership for several decades now.
It was until last year when FIFA dropped a devastating bombshell over Zanzibar’s membership bid that sent ZFA officials in disarray.
FIFA had told the ZFA secretariat point blank that unless Zanzibar regains sovereignty, then a FIFA membership is far from reach.
Zanzibar lost its sovereignty after its merger with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964.
Zanzibar’s FIFA membership quest has for years been focusing on the utilization of the $250,000 annual donation for football development in Tanzania that is remitted through the TFF coffers.
Benefiting from foreign trips to attend FIFA annual congress has also been another pulsating incentive that has been missed by members of the ZFA secretariat.
Meanwhile, with effect from next year, there will be no coach who would be allowed to conduct his or her business here without acquiring a CAF-approved licence.
The last week’s seminar conducted by the TFF technical director Sunday Kayuni was one of the new moves to acquaint Zanzibar football officials, coaches and referees with the CAF directives.
Ameir said by working closely with TFF then ZFA would stand to benefit directly from FIFA football development initiatives.
The opening stage of the FIFA-sanctioned seminar was held for ten days from March 3 ahead of the other one to be conducted next month.