After months of preparations, recruitment of players, registration and some technical panel changes, the Vodacom Premier League 2013/2014 season gets underway this coming Saturday with seven matches being played at different venues.
It is our hope that Premier League teams have prepared well for this season and that we can look forward to matches that will exhibit professionalism and entertain fans.
As a football loving country, we believe that the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Premier League Board had ample time to plan how to administer the coming matches in a more efficient manner than was the case before.
The national soccer governing body must be reminded that the Premier League is the mirror of the country’s soccer standard. That is why they must strive at all costs to improve it, aiming for ever higher standards, as we seek to break into international soccer.
It is an open secret that in previous Premier League seasons we have witnessed several cases of poor match officiating and controversial decisions being made by TFF committees on and off the pitch.
The new season must prove that soccer authorities learnt valuable lessons from last season’s performance and have among other actions taken measures ensuring there is no poor refereeing.
Indeed it is easier to assess the level of soccer standard when referees fairly apply the rules of the game.
We thus underline the need for the governing body to work towards strengthening this area of soccer governance.
Only through such measures can we expect to see the best teams emerging winners and not otherwise.
We also urge TFF, Premier League clubs and all football stakeholders to amicably solve misunderstandings over contracts when it comes to beaming Premier League games live.
We say so because of the importance of media exposure if we are raise the standards of our players.
Our football is better known for importing and not exporting players. Yet the country has many good talents that could attract interest from international soccer clubs if our league was beamed on television.
Through the media foreign football agents would be able to assess our players’ talents more fully.
The 2013/2014 league will also witness a change of TFF leadership as the body goes into polls on October 26.
Going by experience, there are many negative things which happen before and after any election and these have potential to disturb the league.
We ask all those who want to compete in the TFF general election to conduct their campaigns in a manner that will not affect the league.
We urge fair conduct of the polls, so that the results are credible and do not lead to altercations that could interfere with the league.
We urge those who will emerge winners in the TFF elections to fully commit themselves to building up on the positive changes made in soccer so far. They must work tirelessly to take the country’s soccer to the next level, if the overwhelming love our people have for the sport is to be rewarded accordingly.
One of the areas that we are sure they will want to give priority focus to is to put in place mechanisms to exploit the potential of soccer as a money maker.