26 February 2013

Tanzania: Mukangara Acts Tough On TFF

THE government has instructed the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to cancel the use of newly endorsed constitution since its amendment process did not follow regulations of the National Sports Council (NSC).

The Minister for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Dr Fenella Mukangara, issued the directive and in her discretion relieved the Registrar of Sports Associations of her duties in the aftermath of the saga.

Dr Mukangara said the constitution's amendments, passed last year, did not abide by the rules of the national sports council and that makes the 2012 constitution null and void, adding that TFF should use the 2006 statutes.

The minister was responding to current wrangles that hit the TFF and Tanzania Premier League Board elections, which forced the world soccer body, FIFA to intervene and postpone the elections pending its team resolutions. She noted that BMT's regulations clearly stipulated constitutional amendment procedures, in which all sports association were supposed to adhere to but TFF chose not to follow the procedure.

Mukangara asked TFF to call for their elections using the 2006 constitution and according to NSC regulations and should they find a need for the changes they should call the general assembly. "There is no any sports association which is above NSC, therefore all clubs and associations must conduct their affairs while guided by the code of conduct stipulated in NSC Act," she said.

Last year, TFF amended its constitution to pave way for the local body to implement directives from FIFA through the Confederation of African Football (CAF) especially on club licensing and formation of an independent elections appeals committee.

TFF decided to amend its constitution though a 'circular resolution', instead of calling general assembly, with the federation citing lack of funds to host two general meetings, one for the assembly and the other to amend the constitution. TFF prepared the document that was sent to members who had to approve it so as to allow the amendments.

The move, however, drew a lot of criticism from football stakeholders, with critics saying was against the constitution since, they argued, major changes on the body's mother law can only be executed by the general assembly.

Government's intervention comes few days after Fifa announced the suspension of the TFF general election that was scheduled for February, citing controversies over rules and regulations.

Fifa's concern was triggered by the concerns raised by a section of football stakeholders with regard to rules and the mandate of the body's Appeal Committee, which disqualified some candidates from contesting in the elections. With FIFA officials expected in mid next month, the Sports Minister urged TFF to inform the former about government's decision on the constitution saga.

When reached on Monday, TFF General Secretary, Angetile Osiah said the federation was yet to receive official statement from the government but warned that the government should not interfere with football matters.

"I don't think if it is right (for government to interfere with football matters), we should not entertain government's interference on football (matters) this for the sake of our football," said Osiah, who insisted the TFF had observed procedures in their constitutional amendments.

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