By Correspondent – The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has suspended its Information Officer, Florian Kaijage with immediate effect over the national anthem blunder occurred when Taifa Stars hosted Morocco for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier last Saturday.
TFF President, Leodegar Tenga announced the decision on Monday and expressed his dismay, saying that they felt shame for the national anthem’s mess up before President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the guest team and football fans.
“It was such a big embarrassment, the incident was a shame to the nation as it happened before President Kikwete, spectators, including our guests (Morocco) and their ambassador, worse enough since the match was beamed live, fans worldwide could witness this huge blunder,” complained Tenga.
CDs of the national anthems of two countries were nowhere to be seen, as President Kikwete alongside other dignitaries waited for the anthems at the National Stadium, prompting the football governing body to play them at the beginning of the second half.
He said Kaijage was taken to task since he was assigned to take care of all preparations and was supposed to ensure that no technical hitches occurred during the game.
“We had experienced this problem in other international matches we hosted, so there were efforts to stop this from happening this time around, and we suggested that CD’s should be tested at least two days before the match just to make sure that they are fine.”
Tenga said Kaijage’s suspension was an initial measure taken by the TFF, and that the federation has contacted the Ministry for Information, Culture and Sports for further investigation that will put to task the culprits.
As a precaution, Tenga said they will be using brass band and there will standby facilities in all international matches to avoid any embarrassment in the future.
Tenga said the suspended information officer would assist a special probe team to carry investigation on the source of the problem, insisting that disciplinary measure will be taken against those who will be found guilty of national anthem’s mess up.
Tenga meanwhile issued an apology to President Kikwete who led thousands of Tanzanians to cheer the national team, Taifa Stars. He was also apologetic towards Moroccan delegation and supporters.
In June, the TFF was severely criticized following a technical fault that interrupted the national anthem when Taifa Stars hosted Brazil at the state-of the-art Stadium– a match graced by President Kikwete.
The two countries’ national anthems played through the stadium’s sound system were barely audible, prompting football fans to query the decision to use CDs instead of a brass band.
Following Kaijage’s suspension, Tenga said the federation’s technical director, Sunday Kayuni will be dealing with all issues at the federation in the meantime, while they are working out modalities to fill in the information officer and general secretary posts.
TFF has been working without general secretary since the resignation of its former general secretary Fredrick Mwakalebela mid this year; however Tenga was confident that the two vacancies will be filled within a month. Kaijage was serving on a notice after his contract expired last month.