AT long last, the anxiously awaited elections of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) were recently held in Dar es Salaam in an atmosphere which, to some extent, could be described as one which lacked the expected transparency for such an event.
The results saw new faces given the responsibility to govern the country's soccer body for the next four years. Whether the change of guards was accidental or the result of showing dissatisfaction with the old leadership is not what I want to discuss here because I have no evidence to assume or prove it.
After all, it is not fair and actually professionally unethical for one to make an assumption or base his arguments on rumours and hearsay.
However, it is not a secret that the new TFF leaders face mounting challenges on how they will develop and improve soccer in the country and at the end of the day win the broken hearts of Tanzanians.
Over the years, before and after Leodegar Tenga's company came to power we have been struggling without success to excel at various regional, continental and world soccer competitions. It is really disappointing to see Tanzania, with a population of more than 45 million people, can't even match the records of some of our neighbours.
Countries experiencing civil wars, political, religious and tribal conflicts such as Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali and Egypt, as well as those with a population of less than a third of that of our country, do better than us in football.
We are not expecting miracles from the new leadership, but those who have recently been given the task to organise and run football in our country can't afford to relax and continue to disappoint Tanzanians. With due respect to my friend Tenga and his company in the old TFF, soccer in Tanzania has for a long time before and after they came into office required a surgical operation.
Unfortunately, all that we saw during that period were a series of diagnosis and not the treatment. Competitions are won by teams which have made adequate preparations for a certain period. We can only win tournaments by building systems that are capable of emerging victorious in the games.
Selecting players who have made impressive performances in few matches at home to make a team and keep on hoping and praying for the best while preparing for the worst does not help.
The immediate challenge for us, whether we like it or not, is how to translate the lessons of our poor performances in recent competitions into concrete actions that will bear fruits in the days ahead.
The process of rebuilding and giving the Taifa Stars proper training and motivations should start now. The new TFF leadership should focus on the development of the sport nationwide and not just hiding their failure to deliver by blaming their predecessors.
We do not want to see them only concentrating on the National League and anxiously waiting for the Yanga- Simba duel to collect millions of shillings from the gates. I think the poor performance experienced by our national team and clubs in international competitions over the years were because of dearth of competitions at home.
Another area which has to be rectified is good governance, financial stability and transparency. The latter was not there during the election process which put them in office. Management is of utmost importance in today's sport events.
In modern days of keen competition success depends upon good management and administration skills of high grades. The new TFF leadership should leave its doors open to new ideas and accept criticism as contributing factors towards development.
Development of soccer at grassroots level should be the focus of all the district and regional football governing bodies across the country. Its officials should abandon the present practice of lying low as they wait for seminars, workshops, clinics, trips in and outside the country and TFF elections to pick new office bearers.
On the other hand, our women soccer teams have been doing well so far, but many players face challenges beyond the playing field. Some of these problems are in their families, within the community and in their places of work. The new TFF leadership should seriously look at these issues and help solve the problems.
The lack of readily available opportunities for women to play soccer at young ages, especially in school, contributes to a lack of knowledge of core training tenants, which young boys and men have often been exposed to over extended periods of time.
There is no argument that societal beliefs about women's bodies affect the way we deal with pain and injuries suffered by our women players on and off the pitch. Unlike men, our women often feel shy and face stigma on visible bruising, cuts, scrapes, and other abrasions they go through while playing.
While the sport continues to attract a growing number of women, gaining an understanding of offering women more equitable opportunities on how to manage their bodies is very important.
This should not only apply in building talented players, but also in protecting them from injuries and other dilemmas they face. We must not ignore the fact that almost all regional and district football associations are facing a serious financial crisis.
The new TFF should see how best it can help them overcome these problems. The next few weeks of the operations of the new TFF team should give us an indicator of what to expect in the future.
However, the public should not just concentrate on blaming them, but should help the new leaders to overcome the problems surrounding football development in the country.
Every Tanzanian has a role to play in this aspect. Let us all play our part and not leave everything to the new TFF leadership. Its success is ours and so is its failure. I wish all the best to the new TFF leaders as we wait for them to deliver.