MUCH scorn has been poured on the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Competitions Committee that it has now been reduced to a laughing stock due to its lack of credibility.
Yes, the committee has lost its credibility because on several occasions its decisions have been ridiculed by soccer stockholders and disgracefully quashed by the federation's Disciplinary Committee thus rendering it useless and untrustworthy.
Why trust a body that has always erred in its decisions? And why should the TFF continue to embrace it after all the embarrassment it has caused the federation which is led by respected scholar and former international Leodegar Tenga?
Apparently it is because of the committee's short-sightedness and lack of proper judgement that President Jakaya Kikwete blasted the TFF when receiving the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the ultra-modern National Stadium last month.
Kikwete said some of the federation's decisions were both unrealistic and crucifying. Though he didn't mention names, the president was particularly irked by the competition committee's decision to ban Young Africans' midfielder Athuman Idd 'Chuji' for six months simply for insulting match officials.
Banishing someone to the sidelines for that long means ending his playing career, the president noted. Ironically, nowhere in the world are such harsh punishments dished out to fallible players, except in Tanzania.
Take Chelsea's Didier Drogba, for instance. He was handed a six-game (not months) Champions League ban for his foul-mouthed rant at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo but the punishment was reduced to three matches after a successful appeal.
Another case that makes the Competitions Committee unrealistic is the life ban it imposed on four premier league referees – Othman Kazi, Omar Miyala, Omar Mfaume and Kamwanga Tambwe -- allegedly for fraud.
Kazi and his colleagues were accused of receiving 200,000/- from Majimaji of Songea to fix a match against Mtibwa Sugar. Majimaji, who won the match 1-0, were fined 10m/- for allegedly bribing the referees.
However, the Disciplinary Committee reduced the bans to three months for Kazi and three years for the other three referees. It also overturned the 10m/- fine imposed on Majimaji for lack of evidence.
The Disciplinary Committee's chairman, retired senior police officer Alfred Tibaigana, never minced words when he said: "We found that the bans were imposed by an incompetent body and therefore are null and void."
He also noted that it is the referees who reported the bribe to the authorities and neither Mtibwa nor Majimaji complained about the match outcome thus suggesting the match was officiated fairly.
Two things arise from Tibaigana's observations. The first is that the Competitions Committee, which is under the TFF second vice-president Ramadhan Nassib, is not competent to rule on disciplinary matters.
And, secondly, it does not investigate thoroughly cases that are brought before it to be able to make the right decisions.
So, what is the use of having an incompetent body that consumes a lot of the TFF revenue through sitting allowances and other stipends only to come up with dubious decisions? My advice to Tenga and his team is very simple: Overhaul the Competitions Committee to restore trust in TFF.