AXED presidential hopeful for the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Jamal Malinzi, has challenged the incumbent federation's boss, Leodegar Tenga, to rise to the occasion and solve the ongoing standoff ahead of the February 24, general election.
On Sunday, the Appeals Committee under Chairmanship of Idd Mtiginjola overruled Deogratius Lyatto's led Election Committee decision to clear Malinzi to stand for the TFF Presidency. It granted Agape Fue's appeal and cancelled Malinzi's name allegedly for lack of experience and uprightness.
Malinzi, the former Yanga Secretary General, considers the Appeals Committee decision to omit his name from the race as "unlawful, unfair and was meant to rob him off his basic rights". He feels that Tenga's legacy was at stake and this will depend on how he (Tenga) will interfere and handle this saga.
Malinzi said the TFF Executive Committee under Tenga leadership has the mandate to nullify any decision(s) made by Appeals Committee or any other committee under its jurisdiction.
"Regardless, of their independent nature, the TFF President and his Executive Committee has the power to overrule decision(s) made by its standing committees, if such decision(s) was not for the interest of football development in the country, much more if it was unfair and was likely to threaten a breach of peace. "I hold a lot of respect for Tenga.
Under his eight years' reign at the TFF, he has managed to build a strong institution...he should not let it be spoilt at this level, in which he has just less than two weeks remaining to leave the office.
"It's time for Tenga and his Executive Committee to step in and solve this saga, they are empowered by the constitution to do so," Malinzi told a news conference in Dar es Salaam, while brushing aside any possibility for him to seek intervention from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Malinzi insisted that he has the best qualifications required to run for the TFF presidency, which is why he was cleared by the same committee and stood for the same post in the 2008 elections but lost to Tenga.
He said it was unfathomed to question his experience in sports leadership at this time. "I served as Yanga Secretary General for close to four years from 2002-2005. I'm the current Chairman of Kagera Region Football Association (KRFA), I'm also a member of the Dar es Salaam Sports Council and Chairman of the Coast Region Football Association (COREFA) Competition Committee," he outlined, when defending his track leadership record in sports, especially football.
He also insisted that it was unfair to delete his name from the list of contenders just because he led KRFA to protest against the breach of the TFF constitution. "They (appeal committee) claimed that I lacked uprightness because the KRFA was against the amendment of the TFF constitution through circular letter.
They should let be informed that my stand will remain the same, I will continue to defend the TFF constitution," he said, while insisting that only the General Assembly has the mandate to amend the body's constitution. In another development, Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Amos Makalla has also spoken strongly against the Appeals Committee's decision to omit Malinzi's name and others from the election race.
He felt that the decision was wrongly made and does not merit any support from the public, reports John Nditi from Morogoro. "The ministry can not interfere into TFF matters but we are allowed to advice them. We feel that the Appeals Committee has somewhat goofed.
They should review its decision and see to it that it make decisions that are for the best interest of the country's football and not otherwise," Makalla warned. Meanwhile, reports that reached the 'Daily News' late in the evening yesterday suggested that the TFF President Leodegar Tenga summoned crisis meeting with the Executive Committee.