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TFF appeals underline shift in crop of candidates, low enthusiasm

10th February 2013
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 An appeal committee was preparing to sit and deliberate on axed aspirants who want to continue being part of the continuing election process in the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), while on the whole there doesn’t seem to be much excitement on the candidate line up.

The reason is partly the absence of a well known professional pursuing leadership in TFF, in like manner as outgoing president Leodegar Tenga had been, and instead the contest is largely between experienced club leaders chiefly from the city of Dar es Salaam. That’s a bit familiar.

It is hard to identify the source of this sentiment, if it is real or imagined, and at the same time, if it is valid, why therefore there is a dearth of inspiring candidates, especially for the position of president. Indeed some of those being contested have at least been noticeable on the public stage for a while, like former Young Africans SC leader Jamal Malinzi.

He has an alter ego in the person of Simba SC veteran and former FAT secretary general Michael Wambura, also deeply contested in the current poll vetting and appeals, for having filed a court case in sports issues.

What the current poll preparations process indicate is that the soccer governing body has come a long way in terms of procedure and professionalization of the sport, where it is evident that things are being run in an ordinary way without care or apprehension as to who steps in as TFF president.

That was not the case when Tenga was tussling it out with rivals as to who takes over, as nearly everything at that time depended on the leadership. Life in FAT was tied to tension between the chairman and the secretary general, a rivalry that has since been ended.

That could as well explain the lack of enthusiasm and apprehension as to what happens in the polls and how soccer proceeds from there, and it is unclear if this is altogether a good thing, that soccer organization is so professionalized no one expects the TFF leader to do any harm.

When a leader can’t do harm chances are that he can’t do much good either, and this is bad if there still is needed a leader who can change things. But is there a public agenda for change, or most stakeholders are satisfied with the way soccer is run, and no one is pursuing big changes?

What seems to be the case is that soccer organization is at a plateau, where environmental factors which determine the sort of clubs we have, organization of matches, sponsorship, stadia and everything else is at a standstill.

Some change has been ignited by FIFA for instance in ending the rivalry of TFF president and his secretary general, in which case the poll is really for the president, and all others have an assisting job to do.

Then some professionalism has been added recently on relation to licensing of clubs, ensuring that there are youth sides  and then an alternative youth premier clubs’ league, which has helped to propel the game countrywide.

There is one change which those seeking to be elected would hopefully have noticed but it is hardly the case, as it would otherwise be a matter of public attention. It is how to get the city public and elsewhere in the regions enjoy the game of football in a routine manner, for instance by issuing seasonal tickets for stadia.

This could guarantee ability of persons to budget to obtain seats as a cultural or socialization aspect, getting a big crowd for all league matches, all season.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY