The national netball team, Taifa Queens, will not compete at the newly introduced Four-Nations Diamond Challenge tournament scheduled to be staged in South Africa for seven days from August 11.
Speaking in a telephone interview, the netball association of Tanzania (CHANETA) acting secretary general, Rose Mkisi, said the invitation was received at eleventh hour.
She said the time to regroup the team and start preparations camp is too short. Organising resources is also another stumbling block for the tournament that was not in the calendar of events at the beginning of the year.
She said only three-weeks left before the event gets underway which would give Chaneta leadership hectic moment to mould a formidable side to compete in the tourney.
Mkisi said most of the players are scattered across the country and the process of calling them would take long and shorten the training stint.
“To participate in the tourney, we need to raise more than 25m/- and also it is almost impossible to have the team as four of national team players are employed by the army and currently they are attending a course. Three other players are preparing for the final national examination at Filbert Bayi Secondary School which complicates the whole issue,” she said.
She said Chaneta has a balance of 16m/- left during the national netball championship staged in Dar es Salaam. The body’s executive committee has agreed to use that money for Taifa Queens’ trip to Singapore for continental netball championship later in December. However, the trip’s estimated budget is 30m/- .
The Chaneta official said it would be a downhill task to raise the remaining balance from individuals and corporate sponsors ahead of the Singapore trip.
Mkisi also said the initiative taken by Chaneta is not a reprisal to South Africa national netball team that failed to compete at the International Federation of Netball Association (IFNA) sanctioned African championship held in Dar es Salaam early this year.
The South Africa team opted to play against Jamaica instead.
“We have genuine reasons and told them and we believe they have understood the situation,” she said
South Africa netball association has extended invitations to their counterparts in Botswana, Malawi and Tanzania with the aim of playing a round robin format and the tournament was to be played in Johannesburg and Cape Town cities.
Organizers of the event said the objectives of the tournament are to celebrate sporting women and in particular elevate the profile of netball in Africa.
The tourney is also aimed to set up a platform for women rights and harnessing relationship between the competing nations.