THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Elections Committee has called off the body's general elections and that of the Tanzania Premier League Board, which had been scheduled for next Sunday, due to irregularities.
A statement issued by chairman of the Elections Committee, Deogratius Lyatto, cited irregularities in elections regulations as the main reason for the cancellation of the much-awaited polls and said a new date for the elections would be announced later.
"The TFF Elections Committee has reviewed the whole process of the TFF Elections and the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPL Board) in order to satisfy itself if the elections meet the demands of the laid down elections regulations and that of the TFF constitution.
"The TFF Elections Committee has found that there are regulatory irregularities that should be addressed before going on with the elections process," Lyatto said. The TFF and TPL Board elections had been surrounded by controversy following disqualification of presidential hopeful Jamal Malinzi and vice-presidential contestant Michael Wambura.
Malinzi was axed from the race by the appeals committee for alleged lack of experience and uprightness while Wambura was removed from the race as the committee held him guilty of taking football matters to the court of law contrary to FIFA constitution.
Malinzi, who is the former Yanga Secretary General, considered the Appeals Committee decision to omit his name from the race as "unlawful, unfair and was meant to rob him off his basic rights" and appealed to incumbent TFF President Leodegar Tenga to revisit the decision.
In response, Tenga called a press conference at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday afternoon, in which he promised that the appeals committee would revisit the appeals of axed applicants. But the outgoing TFF boss warned that if the committee sticks to its guns, then Malinzi and others will have to appeal to Fifa and Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) as the TFF committee has autonomy in its decisions.
Tenga vehemently defended the federation's standing committees, saying they are functioning according to the regulations and above all, they are independent to make decision(s) that not even the TFF president is allowed to challenge or revoke.
"I can only give my opinion against the committee's decision(s) in my individual capacity but could not do the same in the capacity of the federation's president because anything of that nature would mean an infringement or interference of their (committees) autonomy.
"We respect our statutes, which clearly tell us that these committees are totally independent...if you interfere any of their process, then you do not have constitution," he warned. The only assurance Tenga gave to the sports lovers especially football fanatics in the country is that the ongoing standoff will be solved amicably and the latest development could well pave way for a peaceful end to the saga.