3 January 2013

Tanzania: TFF Sparks Club Vs Country Row

A COUNTRY versus club row has emerged as giants Simba and Yanga have insisted that they will not release their players to join the national soccer team Taifa Stars, without the local football governing body following proper procedures.

Taifa Stars coach Kim Poulsen has summoned 22 players in the squad, which include six players from Simba and five from Yanga. The team will enter the camp on Sunday for a series of friendly matches, preferably away in South Africa before their 2014 World Cup qualifier match against Morocco in March.

Simba Chairman Ismail Aden Rage said that common sense must prevail and that this was not the right time for his team to release players. However, he insisted that both parties, clubs on one hand and the TFF on the other, should try to work together as best as possible to ensure that harmony is maintained.

"We are facing crucial time ahead and our new coach has just arrived to prepare the team for CAF Champions League campaign as well as for the final round of the top flight league, which will resume in three weeks time...we seriously need these players to be available," he said.

He also insisted that it is not compulsory for clubs to release players for matches scheduled on dates not listed in the coordinated international matches' calendar. "In the first place, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) are going against FIFA regulations which clearly stipulates that clubs are obliged to release players to join their national teams for any friendly match organized or arranged on FIFA calendar within 48 hours before the match," said Rage.

On the other hand, Yanga General Secretary Lawrence Mwalusako said they will only allow their players to join Stars four days before the official match and 48 hours for friendly as per the FIFA regulations. He said currently the players will continue with the training programme together with others in their Turkey's camp.

According to FIFA regulations, official matches have a release period of four days, which means that players can take up to four days away from club duties to partake in national team duties. If a player participates in an official match on another continent than his club's, the release period is five days.

Friendly matches are deemed less important and the release period is 48 hours. TFF information Officer, Boniface Wambura, would not comment anything yesterday because he said they have not received any official complaint from the two clubs.

"We've not received any official complaint which must be communicated to us through official letter...what I know so far is that all clubs whose players have been selected in the team have already been officially informed and the players are expected in the camp as planned on Sunday," he said.

Players called in the team include first choice goalkeeper Juma Kaseja (Simba), who will retain his position as the team captain, while other players picked in the list are Aishi Manula, Mwadini Ally, Aggrey Morris (Azam), Amir Maftah (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Issa Rashid (Mtibwa Sugar), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Nadir Haroub (Yanga) and Shomari Kapombe (Simba).

The midfielders are Salum Abubakar (Azam), Athuman Idd (Yanga), Amri Kiemba (Simba), Khamis Mcha (Azam), Frank Domayo (Yanga), Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba) and Shabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar). The striking list includes John Bocco (Azam), Mrisho Ngasa (Simba), Simon Msuva (Yanga), Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe - DR Congo).

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