Amin Bakhresa’s disqualification from the race for re-election to the Dar es Salaam Region Football Association (DRFA) chairmanship by the Tanzania Football Federation over the weekend has raised eyebrows of football stakeholders in the country.
The man has been at the helm of the DRFA for 16 years and was cleared by the DRFA electoral committee headed by Muhidin Ndolanga to go ahead, only for the TFF to make a timely intervention.
Bakhresa has been disqualified on the grounds of poor education that makes him ineligible to contest for the post again.
TFF claims Bakhresa lacks an ordinary secondary school certificate, thus he is ineligible to run for re-election.
Regardless of the truth of the matter, how on earth this man was left to lead such a sensitive football association for more than a decade, is the question that most are asking. Were the authorities unable to detect this highly sensitive discrepancy all these years?
Should the football fraternity believe that red tape has been deeply rooted in football to this extent? Why did the TFF election committee come to unearth the Bakhresa controversy this time around?
How many other regional football association leaders are in power with similar shortfalls like that of Bakhresa? Certainly there is a need for the TFF to take a closer look at how the regional football bodies are being run and the qualifications of their officials who are in power.
Very possibly there might be several other regional associations suffering from a similar syndrome! Who knows!
The disqualification of Bakhresa highlights the need to go through the formalities and procedures in use to elect football officials.
Besides educational requirement shortfall, there is also the question of integrity that rocks smooth running of football administration in the country.
We might have well educated officials who meet the criteria but on the other side they have potential weaknesses related to trustworthiness, prudence and integrity.
Such disqualification should also be accompanied by in depth investigation of the culprits who allowed such poor criteria of installing football leadership to prevail.
It would not be too hard to imagine how much this has contributed to the administration problems that have dogged the associations including the lackluster performance of the game.
Did the problem affect Dar es Salaam Region alone? The controversy leaves more questions than answers from the game’s stakeholders.
While we congratulate TFF for timely intervention to halt inclusion of ineligible officials into football leadership, bold steps must also be taken to avoid recurrence of the practice in the future.
The TFF electoral committee has also unearthed other shortfalls, such as candidates who are alleged to have forged signatures of the Kinondoni Football Association officials to process their electoral forms.
It is imperative for TFF to take measures to fight against such habits that reflect elements of criminality and can only drag down efforts to raise performance in this much loved sport.
TFF must send out a clear signal that it will not tolerate them or those who are behind them for private gain.