Discussion is rife among soccer stakeholders as to what went amiss such that the Taifa Cup tournament is not going to be held this year, contrary to expectations of people all over the country.
TFF officials explain that the reason for this move is lack of sponsorship, but there are those who feel that they could have done plenty more on that scope, emphasizing that once it was apparent that the usual sponsor would not be available, steps could have been taken early. Chances are that they weren’t taken.
It is however a hypothetical issue if Tanzania Football Federation officials would have found a different sponsor from the Tanzania Breweries Ltd (TBL) once they were informed that the brewers could not put up funds for the tournament this year.
That is what a number of stakeholders and voices in the media have been asserting, which can be qualified by TFF because they realize that it is also in their interest to hold the tournament, and could say they are not guilty of slighting the tourney. It would thus be unavoidable, that there has been failure on their part because of circumstances beyond their control.
The issue as it appears on the outside looks purely psychological, a sort of cry over split milk, as the one to whom the milk was due cannot grasp ‘unavoidable circumstances’ in which the milk was split, as it is always easy, mentally, to change the sequence of actions leading to tripping and the glass falling. In that case it is not hard for any stakeholder to imagine a situation where the Taifa Cup glass would not have fallen and split the milk, discouraging many soccer enthusiasts in the regions. It surely is human error…
One major contention being raised with a certain amount of expertise is that Taifa Cup should be treated like a marketable product, in which case if one sponsor was not available to provide what it takes to hold the tournament, then another one would have been found, by marketing efforts.
What this point of view refuses to figure out is a situation where only one major company is interested in the competition, and when it changes its mind there is nothing anyone can do so salvage the tourney. Yet there is some truth in that scenario as well, especially if the notice was less than three months to date.
Looking at the situation engulfing various sports and games, such contentions look marvelously indulgent as to the significance of this or that competition in a market environment, when we fail to get sponsors to train our Olympic Games squad, etc.
Some sports bodies fail to hold annual competitions, their more prestigious competitions for lack of sponsorship, in which case it isn’t a surprise if TFF in turn fail to hold one among their usual competitions.
But more significantly, TBL would have signaled this situation after tax measures were announced in Parliament, and TFF made lobbying efforts and failed.
That means there is a chance that TFF could find another sponsor next year, as Taifa Cup is a bit helpful to market a product for companies which are susceptible to that consideration, even if not prestigious as other TFF or CECAFA tourneys.
It is however uncertain if a market audit of Taifa Cup may actually produce the results stakeholders insist, for instance bringing up new talent, whereas there are several youth tourneys and their foreign coaches. Premier league clubs have youth teams, academies.