Like most of the sports bodies in the country, a high amplitude wave of confusion and complete trust for each other has stricken inside the Tanzania Swimming Association in Dar es Salaam, this week.
The government has asked the TSA to solve the misunderstanding that has hit the body before attempting to participate at any international event, the National Sports Council official Mohamed Kiganja declared yesterday.
The national team comprising three swimmers has been blocked from traveling to Shanghai where the 14th FINA world championship is in progress.
A group of stakeholders inside the TSA has protested to the National Sports Council citing unfair selection of the team members lined up for the global show.
Kiganja stressed the need for all sports associations to work together and iron out internal shortfalls. He blasted officials from the TSA for their failure to keep their house in order ahead of selecting the team for the world championships.
He said NSC is not in a position to give the Shanghai-bound team a green light while still there are critical issues to be resolved inside their association.
The team was supposed to board the Shanghai-bound trip last week but the fiction inside the association erupted to halt the trip.
Kiganja said the opposing factions within the TSA have been told to resolve the crisis after the two parties failed to reach an agreement when summoned by the National Sports Council.
An option to suspend the crisis temporarily and release the swimming trio to travel to Shanghai hit snag as there were no agreement between the TSA officials.
Kiganja said NSC has at the moment left the ball into the court of the TSA so that they reach a consensus before releasing the swimmers for China.
The core of the crisis is based on the selection panel which is alleged to have favored some of the swimmers and leave behind others who are competent to represent the country at the high profile global event.
According to Kiganja, the group made of some coaches, swimming clubs and other stakeholders is against the criteria used to select members of the team.
Kiganja could not disclose other reasons which the functions were not ready to compromise and also names of members of the two functions saying it’s a very sensitive matter.
He said NSC through the director of sports in the ministry of Sports, Information and Culture Leonard Thadeo invited the two functions to a roundtable meeting to solve misunderstanding but they could not agree.
“My Office and the director of sports in the ministry met them for three times to solve the misunderstandings but without a meaningful resolution”, he said.
Confirming the development, TSA secretary general Noel Kiunsi said his association’s technical committee selected the swimming trio on the basis of merit and not favoritism.
He said the swimmers have been undergoing extensive training at their respective places, but only to be informed by the NSC that there is a group which is against the selection of the team.
“We have been meeting with the group which is objecting the selection of the team at the NSC offices but there has been no breakthrough yet”, said Kiunsi.
Kiunsi also said he tried to tell the objecting side that for the good of the game and for the integrity of the country the team should be given the opportunity to leave for the games and the wrangle be solved later on.
Kiunsi also said his association should be prepared for reprisal from the International Swimming body, FINA that sponsored all the three swimmers and officials for the championship.
However, a member of the objecting group who opted for anonymity said his faction has been trying to reason with TSA chairman Alex Moshi, secretary general Kiunsi and its technical advisor Marcellino Ngalinoma to review the selection of the team on the basis of merit but all in vain.
He said TSA technical committee for no apparent reasons has left top swimmers Hilal Hilal and Mariam Fuam.
The national swimming team made of Magdalena Moshi, Gouri Kotecha and Amale Ghabiya was supposed to leave the country on July 14 for the 10-day championship.
The NSC official said there will be a meeting at a later date to critically analyse what actually transpired to result into the simmering crisis inside the swimming association.