Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has said foreigners are not members of their country’s national teams would not be allowed to feature in the Mainland Premier League.
The statement was issued by the TFF Technical Director, Oscar Mirambo, following a directive issued by the minister responsible for Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe regarding the number of foreign players who feature in the Mainland Premier League.
Mwakyembe directed the National Sports Council (NSC) to organise a joint debate with football stakeholders to discuss the matter and come up with a viable solution.
Mirambo said football clubs which feature in the Mainland Premier League, as well as in the First and Second Division, are allowed to recruit up to ten (10) foreign players each.
However, none of the premier league clubs has recruited ten players... not even the three major clubs, namely Young Africans FC (‘Yanga’), Simba FC (‘Simba’) and Azam FC (‘Azam’).
As a matter of fact, while Yanga and Azam have registered nine foreign players each, Simba has only eight foreign players.
According to Mirambo, TFF has always insisted that, for foreign players to be recruited and play in the league, they must first and foremost be regular national team players in their respective countries. But this conditionality has been violated by the clubs as a matter of course.
“It is true that some of the foreign players featuring in the Mainland Premier League do not play for their national teams. This is contrary to our directives,” Mirambo revealed.
“There also are foreign players who are clearly of low footballing standards compared with our locals. You cannot learn anything from them and, yet, they are allowed to feature in our national league! We call upon all the clubs to start focusing on foreign players who also feature in their national teams. Contrary to that – and we will not grant them license,” Mirambo stressed.
Concerning the number of foreign players to be reduced, Mirambo said the matter would be discussed with the premier league clubs before starting the next soccer season.
Noting that regulations governing the league are normally discussed by all the clubs, and are duly endorsed to be applied in the respective season, Mr Mirambo said “TFF does not prepare league rules and regulations on its own. We are not biased on the matter. We propose and request all the clubs to propose what they think should be included or excluded in the regulations – after which the final draft comes into operation,” he said.