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banner Monday, 19 March, 2001, 12:40 GMT
Tanzania officials quit in anger
Dar Es Salaam skyline
International football is coming back home to the Tanzanian capital
Two top Tanzanian sports officials have resigned following the government's decision to accept Fifa's conditions for the lifting of the international ban imposed by the world football governing body.

The resignations came as many Tanzanians rejoice at last weekend's decision by Fifa to lift the indefinite international ban it had imposed on Tanzania last year.

I was against Fifa's directive
  NSC official, Leodgar Tenga

Tanzania Sports Council (NSC) deputy chairman Leodgar Tenga and another sports council official Hawa Ngulume resigned, arguing that the Sports minister Juma Athumani Kapuya was wrong to have accepted Fifa's terms.

"I was against Fifa's directive and advised the government not to accept it. I have decided to resign as a matter of principle,'' said Tenga, who is a former national team player.

Fifa banned Tanzania last September after the then chairman of the Fat, Muhidin Ndolanga and his secretary-general, Ismail Aden Rage were arrested and sacked by the government following allegations of fraud.

Sovereignty and compromise

Fifa confirmed last Friday that it had lifted the suspension imposed on the Football Association of Tanzania (Fat.)

The lifting of the ban came after the minister in charge of sports Professor Juma Kapuya acceded to Fifa's demand to set up a six-man "normalisation committee" to run soccer in Tanzania until the Football Association holds fresh elections.

The minister has appointed Ndolanga to head the six-man committee, a decision which was opposed by the sports council officials led by the acting chairman Leodgar Tenga, a former Tanzanian international player.

Leodgar Tenga said that the sports minister's acceptance of the Fifa directives compromised the government's earlier stance that Fifa should not interfere with Tanzania's sovereignty.

He said he objected to the move in view of the fact that Ndolanga and Rage are still facing corruption charges which have so far not been proved.

Fans' delight

A cross-section of Tanzanians have, however, expressed their approval of Fifa's decision to lift the ban, with observers describing the stalemate in Tanzanian soccer as a personal wrangle between the concerned parties at the expense of millions of fans.

In addition to Ndolanga, the six-man committee includes the outgoing government-appointed Fat chairman Iddi Kipingu who is reported to have been backed by the sports council.

As a result of the lifting of the ban, Tanzanian clubs have been included in the fixtures for this year's inter-clubs competitions organised by the African Football Confederation, Caf.

The three clubs representing Tanzania in continental soccer are Yanga (in the Club Championships), Simba Sports Club (in the Cup Winners) and Mtibwa (in the Caf Cup.)

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See also:

12 Mar 01 |  Africa
Tanzania seek peace with Fifa
27 Oct 00 |  Football
Tanzania face football ban
02 Mar 01 |  Africa
Fifa bans Guinea
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