Serenity in running soccer affairs that most pundits or observers have been used to in the past eight to nine years was on the verge of being disrupted in the past week in relation to hearing and ruling on appeals presented by two veterans on the soccer scene, Jamal Malinzi and Michael Wambura.
The former was a top official of Young Africans Sports Club and possibly lacks the sort of national level leadership as his ‘accusers’ say, and perhaps there is also a problem somewhere, as one cannot rule out, a priori, any machinations against a specific aspirant.
The latter was also a top official in Simba SC but made his mark in the old Football Association of Tanzania (FAT) and the memory is hard to rub out, ever.
While it is hard to make out the specific thinking or ‘honesty’ of those who laid objections to their being candidates for the TFF presidency, the way they reacted to an appeals committee ruling tended to provide substantial ammunition against them, from bystanders.
It was as if they now come clean on the issue, having merely raised legal objections earlier, and this way, one starts seeing why some people in TFF or around the polls convention as a whole, wished that they stay out of the race.
In an assortment of institutional contention and a bit of personal arrogance somewhere in the mix, they were now pitting themselves against the rule books on the basis of which they were fielding their applications, like others.
Where Malinzi for instance left a few pundits stunned was the vibrant effort in which he urged outgoing TFF president Leodegar Tenga to intervene for his reinstating, to overrule the appeals committee action in his capacity as president, which has to be quite rare if it even makes sense.
The reasoning for seeking such sort of administrative action seemed to be that it is inconceivable that an election for the top TFF post can go ahead without him, as otherwise it would be a shame or that sort of thing.
Surprisingly the deputy minister responsible for sports appeared to see things in like manner, whereas he was supposed to be a guardian of the rules, that this matter is within the competence of the committee, by and large.
Wambura took an equally astonishing position when he candidly put at issue even the constitution on the basis of which the polls were being held, which again confirmed (or logically seemed to ascertain) why he can’t possibly run for the post of TFF president.
It simply comes to the impression that if he wins the post he shall start a needless quarrel with the world soccer body and local stakeholders about the legitimacy of the current TFF constitution, rules of the premier league, office bearers, etc. And if he comes to office and ignores this criticism, he would simply be a turncoat disrespecting his own word.
It altogether comes to the impression that even if between Malinzi and Wambura there is exceptional talent that the soccer body will be missing for not fielding either of them for the TFF presidency, it would be better than having any such talent.
The critical issue about organizations is not personal talent but how far one respects and can live by the rules, as it is rules which keep people together, not talents, as the latter are prone to being misused, whether in politics, business or in private life. So the personal arrogance of a Malinzi and the contempt of TFF statutes of a Wambura are intrinsically opposed to the maintenance of the concord and harmony as has been the case in the past eight years, unquestionably.