Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Premiership kick off clouded by ambiguity

TFF secretary general Angetile Osiah

The Tanzania Football Federation has set up September 15 as a new date for the Mainland premiership kick off, a two-week postponement from the initially announced date.
The new date has been announced yesterday by the federation’s secretary general Angetile Osiah after wide speculation and uncertainty that clouded clubs and related stakeholders.
The reason behind the uncertainty for the kick off date has been caused by unfinished business to seal off a sponsorship deal between the football federation and Vodacom Tanzania.
However, the TFF had all the time in the world to conduct negotiations with the sponsors ahead of the league kick off instead of waiting at eleventh hour.
The TFF never worked in time to arrest the sponsorship hitch until water raised to the federation’s nose much to the disruption of the premiership teams’ pre-season preparations.
Osiah said through email statement availed here yesterday that negotiations are in the ‘final stages’ before releasing the fixture for the new season kick off.
It was the same soccer federation that worked ‘tirelessly’ to conclude a Super8 three-year sponsorship deal with tenacious zeal, while overlooking the necessity to seal off the premier league sponsorship contract that was known to have come to an end since May 6.
The end of the previous sponsorship deal was well known in advance but it is not known as to why matters were left too late to engage into last minute negotiation dash.
Osiah said TFF had concluded a session with the premiership clubs early this week and resolved to reschedule the seasonal kick off to September 15 instead of the previous date of September 1.
The new Mainland premier soccer league contract is expected to be concluded later this week.
All regulations and governing rules of the league will be redrafted in conformity with the terms and conditions to be agreed after sealing off the new sponsorship deal.
The newly introduced Community Shield match between last season’s league winners and the runners-up that was supposed to be played on August 25 has also suffered a postponement as a result of the new sponsorship contract development.
The match is supposed to be staged at least a week ahead of the premiership season kick off. Champions Simba and Azam FC are eligible to play the match as Osiah said its new date will be made public after sealing off the new sponsorship deal.
However, clubs and football stakeholders should not be surprised in the event another date for the league kick off is announced.
A total of 14 teams are lined up for the Mainland league and these includes holders Simba, runners-up Azam, Young Africans, Mtibwa Sugar, Kagera Sugar, Coastal Union, JKT teams of Ruvu, Shooting, Oljoro, and Mgambo, Prisons FC, Police Morogoro, Toto Africa and African Lyon.

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