DEPUTY Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Amos Makalla said the government should not be blamed for sharing part of the gate collections earned from matches hosted at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
In fact, he said that the government wants to ensure that the venue collects enough funds to enable it recover the money spent in erecting the imposing structure.
The Chinese built stadium has cost some 56b/-. His remarks comes in a wake of a series of complaints over what is claimed to be 'unfair' deduction of gate revenue to clubs, especially those featuring in the Mainland Premier League.
The clubs and other stakeholders are complaining that much of the cash collected from gate entrances at the stadium is mishandled and unfairly distributed to them. The top flight clubs have repeatedly complained over the stadium gate collection system, saying that the cut from the share of the gate collections leaves them in tatters as they only earn peanut.
The clubs felt that they should earn better because they are the ones attracting huge crowd and without them no turn out will be seen at the venue. Giants Simba and Yanga have been regularly demanding an increase of gate revenue share and they have always teamed up to press the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and the government to review deduction system.
With such demands in mind, Makalla said that there should be a way forward to rectify the problem, but insisted that the government should not be blamed for anything. He said this during a meeting he called at the venue yesterday to discuss the shortcoming.
The meeting involved the Directorate of Sports in the ministry, the TFF, Dar es Salaam Regional Football Association (DRFA), Premier League Committee, Stadium management and other stakeholders. He said that the government only gets 10 per cent of the gate revenue per match, which came down from earlier figure of 20 per cent.
He said, another 18 per cent goes to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) as Value Added Tax (VAT), which is mandatory according to rules of the state. Makalla noted that the 10 per cent share which is given to the government is charged as per the agreement reached between stakeholders including the TFF and clubs.
"If we have found anything wrong in the current structure it is recommended that we meet and discuss and that is why I have called you here today (yesterday). I want you to speak your heart on the way forward instead of trading words through media," he said.
In fact, Makalla said that a bigger portion of gate collections has been going to the TFF and DRFA among others, but to his surprise much of the blame has been always directed to the government. "Some clubs have proposed that they would prefer hiring the stadium so that they could be entitled to all the gate revenue, we have no objection to this proposal but we will demand 20m/- cash up front," he said.
The deputy minister also reaffirmed the government's commitment to make sure that the on-going expansion at Uhuru Stadium is completed as soon as possible so that the premier league matches will be played there to reduce running costs. Earlier, Makalla toured the National Stadium to see various parts of the venue. He inspected the pitch and electricity system.