19 February 2013

Tanzania: New Twist in TFF Elections Saga

THE tale of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Tanzania Premier League Board (TPL) elections took a new twist after the Election Appeal committee refused to backtrack on its decision to axe some candidates from the race.

A day after the TFF Elections Committee had suspended the local football governing body's general and TPL Board elections indefinitely, the Election Appeal committee has sought it wise to stick to its guns on suspended candidates.

Chairman of the TFF's Election Appeal Committee, Idd Mtiginjola, confirmed yesterday that five axed candidates had requested the committee to review its decisions.

But all the requests were trashed after the committee established that neither the TFF constitution nor election regulations allow them to review its own decisions. He said the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in the courts of law may allow a judge to review his/her decision (s) but there is no such a provision in matter relating to football.

"We couldn't invent a new rule, our duty is to make decisions by interpreting the constitution and regulations given to us by the appointing authority (TFF)," Mtiginjola told a press conference in Dar es Salaam. He said axed TFF presidential hopeful Jamal Malinzi and TPL Board chairman aspirant Hamad Yahya, are among those who had written to the committee, seeking their case to be reviewed.

Others are executive committee membership aspirants namely; Eliud Peter Mvella (Iringa and Mbeya), Farid Salim Nahdi (Morogoro and Pwani) and Mbasha Matutu (Shinyanga and Simiyu). Mtiginjola reiterated that presidential aspirant Malinzi, who is former Young Africans general secretary, does not meet the required criteria to stand for the post, as he allegedly lacks experience and uprightness.

He said the only way forward for Malinzi and co. is to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Another candidate who has been removed from the list of candidates is vice-president aspirant Michael Wambura.

Speaking over the weekend, outgoing TFF President Leodegar Tenga pointed out three alternatives for candidates who seek to have their cases resolved, saying the first procedure was to request the Appeals Committee to review the decision(s) made against them.

He said if the committee would rule against the review, the contestants could still seek an intervention from the World football governing body, FIFA, adding that the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is the last alternative.

However, 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.

The move by the election appeal committee to omit the names of some of the candidates has been received with a mixed reaction by stakeholders in the game with many soccer fans criticizing the decision as undue, and the latest development is expected to spark mayhem within the football fraternity.

Among those who have voiced their concerns is the Deputy Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Amos Makalla, who believes the appeal committee has somewhat goofed.

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