East African nation Tanzania find themselves in a precarious situation with football governing body FIFA, as the country’s government shows signs of interference with the sport’s local association.
According to Tanzania's Daily News, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke sent a letter to Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) President Leodegar Tenga, explaining that the Swiss-based international body was aware of alleged interference from the government, and would be keeping a close eye on proceedings to make sure that the necessary punishment would follow, if that was found to be the case.
The Ministry for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports in the country looks set to take issue with the internal affairs of the TFF.
According to reports, Tanzania Sports Minister, Dr Fenella Mukangara recently directed the TFF to make use the 2006 constitution for the upcoming elections, while dismissing the federation’s newly endorsed 2012 statutes – a call which should not come from government or any third parties as stipulated in articles 13 and 17 of the FIFA statutes.
“It is also alleged that the authorities are contemplating the possibility to nominate an interim body in case the Tff would not comply with their instructions,” Valcke revealed in his letter.
“The information, if proven true, is worrisome since it would constitute clear government interference in the internal affairs of the TFF,” he added.
If the government interference is brought to light, Tanzania risks being banned or suspended from FIFA, meaning that their national teams on all levels will not participate in any FIFA competitions, including World Cup qualifiers.
FIFA previously banned Nigeria and Kenya, for short spells before they were reinstated, when government dabbled in the affairs of the respective football federations.