THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has strongly condemned the unruly behaviour by Zanzibar Heroes players, who are accused of sharing out prize money bestowed to the Isles side for a third-place win at this year's CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
Zanzibar Football Association (ZFA) on Tuesday revealed that it has indefinitely suspended 16 players for sharing out 10,000 US dollars the team had been awarded after scooping third place in the recently concluded regional tournament.
"TFF strongly condemns such behaviour. If what has been reported is true, then, these players demonstrated unruliness and we are totally against it, it's absolutely unacceptable," TFF Information Officer Boniface Wambura commented.
He argued that as long as the team is controlled by the Isles football governing body, it is the association and not the players who should manage prize money and decide how the money is paid to the team.
ZFA's decision to ban the players is set to affect the participation of Zanzibar players who have been named in the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, ahead of the international friendly match against Zambia.
Taifa Stars head coach, Kim Poulsen, has summoned six players from Zanzibar for the mouth-watering clash with the reigning African champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia, scheduled for December 22 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The sextet include, goalkeeper Mwadini Ali, defenders Nassoro Masoud 'Chollo', Nadir Haroub 'Canavaro', Aggrey Morris and Samih Nuhu as well attacking midfielder Mcha Khamis. Wambura failed to comment on the fate of the Taifa Stars-bound players because the federation is yet to receive official letter from their Zanzibar counterparts, about the imposed ban.
"We'll make our position known when we receive ZFA's letter and see what is in it and the reasons behind their decision to suspend the players because reports regarding this whole saga are confusing," Wambura said.
Only four players out of 20 that represented Zanzibar at the CECAFA championship in Uganda have escaped the ban after allegedly handing back the money to ZFA.
In their statement, ZFA did not reveal the names of the players that have been suspended. Zanzibar Heroes beat Mainland's Kilimanjaro Stars on penalties in the third winner play-off last Saturday at Mandela Stadium in Kampala, Uganda.