Tenga courts Chiyangwa

HARARE - Tanzanian football leader Leodegar Tenga arrived in Harare yesterday to meet Zifa and Cosafa president Philip Chiyangwa ahead of next month’s elections at the Fifa Congress in Bahrain.

Tenga, who was accompanied to Harare by Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president Jamal Malinzi, is vying for the vacant seat in the Fifa Executive Committee on May 11, against Hany Abo rida of Egypt.

The former TFF and Cecafa president said there is need for his region and Cosafa to work together in order to develop football in both areas.

Tenga believes this positive change can only come if Cecafa and Cosafa are equally represented in both the Caf and Fifa executive committees.

At the moment Cecafa does not have any representative in Fifa’s highest decision making body.  

“My president (Malinzi) has just mentioned that I was the head of TFF for two terms. I’m a person who believes in term limits. After two terms I said enough and then I became the chairman of Cecafa and served two terms,” Tenga said.

“In 2015, I said enough and left Cecafa. I have come here to see my young brother Philip and tell him that I need his help.

“I might be older than him but in Africa that is how we do things. If there is unity between Cecafa and Cosafa this will definitely help.”

Tenga added: “Look at these two regions we have 26 countries but if you look at our record, how many times we have qualified for the major African finals?

“Football is just like anything else, you need to invest and you need to work together. There is no way you can grow in football unless you are tested. We need more tournaments between Cecafa and Cosafa teams.”   

With Cefaca already behind his candidature, Tenga is already assured of 12 votes at the moment and in the event he secures Cosafa’s support it would mean a further advantage for him ahead of the election.       

Chiyangwa assured Tenga that Cosafa will consider backing his candidature during the elections.

“You are still in the race. Cosafa did not endorse anyone in Johannesburg; I could not be drawn to put it on the table when we met the new Caf president Ahmad Ahmad,” Chiyangwa said.

“I felt even myself, I was too tired from the Caf race and I was now beginning to get too many requests from within Cosafa; there were three candidates from Cosafa but they have all withdrawn.

“It’s still an open race for you because I do not foresee people from my region actually proceeding to the election day.”

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