Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Uncertainty Shrouds League Kick Off

UNCERTAINITY is still shrouding kick off of the Mainland Premier League second round, following failure by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to find a solution to its frozen accounts.

Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) froze the TFF sponsored accounts last month, for the latter's failure to pay the tax deductions from salaries of national soccer team, Taifa Stars, foreign coaches.

TRA's move aims at putting pressure on the federation to pay the tax deductions from the salaries of the Taifa Stars coaches, from the time the team was under the tutelage of Brazilian, Marcio Maximo, who arrived in 2006.

The deductions (Pay As You Earn - PAYE) that TFF owes TRA amount to 157, 407.968.00/-. TRA, thus, has decided to freeze the accounts including the Mainland Premier League's sponsored account which has over 300m/-.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the TFF Information Officer, Boniface Wambura, indicated that no compromise has been reached so far, despite efforts made by president Leodegar Tenga, to seek intervention from the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports.

TFF are in view that they are being treated unfairly and although they had been informing TRA that the payment of the coaches' tax deductions was hardly to be performed by the federation, TRA stood its ground because TFF was the coaches' patron.

This situation might create problem during the start of the second phase of the Mainland Premier League, which has been scheduled to start in January 26, next year. Wambura said already the top flight clubs are threatening to boycott the league unless they get paid their allowances in advance.

However, Wambura said negotiations involving the TFF, ministry and TRA will still continue to convince TRA to overturn its decision. He remained positive that the problem will be solved before the start of the second phase of the league.

Foreign coaches that have trained Taifa Stars include Brazilian Maximo, who left in 2010 and was replaced by Danish Jan Poulsen, who left in May, this year and was replaced by his compatriot, Kim Poulsen. However, President Jakaya Kikwete opened up last week, saying he has given up paying salaries of the national team coaches due to off-putting leadership mess at the TFF.

Kikwete once again pointed a finger at the TFF fragile leadership as the main factor that curtails the development of the sport in the country, challenging them not to remain solely as supervisors of football and national teams; instead the federation should be central to the football success.

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