The deputy minister for information, culture, youth and sport Feneela Mukangara yesterday told the National Assembly in Dodoma that there is no rift between football authorities in Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania.
The deputy minister was responding to a question posed by Unguja Member of Parliament Ahmed Juma who said the Tanzania Football federation has among other things been brewing crisis in the entire football administration.
The deputy minister said so far there is no bickering between officials of the two soccer bodies as the TFF has been maintaining strong cooperation with their counterparts in Zanzibar.
Juma said the TFF should now change its name to Tanzania Mainland Football Federation, TMFF as it has failed to serve the other part of the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar.
Mukangara said there is a string binding now than ever before between Zanzibar Football Association and TFF. She said officials of the two bodies have been working with a hand-in-glove cooperation whenever it comes to issues of national interest.
She gave an example where officials from ZFA have been invited to plan ahead training and preparations of the national team.
Besides that, referees and commissioners from Zanzibar have been attending or working at international assignments through the TFF.
Juma claimed that ZFA has been missing or being overlooked whenever there are some grants from the world football body, FIFA.
In assisting Mukangara, the former minister for information, culture and sports George Mkuchika who is now the minister for Regional Administration
and Local Government said TFF had deliberately diverted FIFA funds in 2010 to improve the Gombani Stadium in Pemba.
The stadium has been installed with astral turf or artificial playing carpet with funds from FIFA through TFF.
Mkuchika went as far as giving an example when TFF teamed up with their ZFA counterparts to travel all the way to Zurich to convince FIFA President Sepp Blatter on membership bid in 2010.
Mkuchika said it is the view of TFF to see that Zanzibar is being admitted into FIFA membership to benefit more assistances and grants from the soccer body.
Mkuchika said TFF is using the word Tanzania like many other associations, organs or firms in the Mainland after dropping off the use of Tanganyika to respect the Union’s existence.
However, FIFA responded by not accepting Zanzibar’s membership bid on the grounds of lost souvrenity after the 1964 union.
Sports, youth and culture are outside the bracket of the basic matters binding up Zanzibar and Tanganyika during the 1964 when the United Republic of Tanzania was formed.
The Union’s core agreement fundamentally hinges on internal or home affairs including immigration services, foreign and international cooperation, and finance and defence forces ministries.