Explained: How Kenya’s Premier League fell behind Tanzania’s
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) President Moses Magogo has explained how the Kenyan Premier League has fallen behind Tanzania's in terms of competitiveness.
According to Magogo, Tanzania invested in its league and ended up helping it become more competitive compared to other leagues in East Africa.
Local TV investment
One of the major investments that spurred the growth of Tanzanian football, according to the Ugandan FA chief, is the development of pay TV dedicated to local games.
“I think what Tanzania had, the opportunity they got, was that they developed local investment in local pay television; that is, Azam, they took the mantle and decided to produce and put their leagues to the fans," Magogo said, as quoted by a local media publication.
Magogo said that instead of going exclusively local, Kenya and Uganda chose to introduce a broadcast provider who also aired other leagues that competed for attention with the local games.
"It did not happen here in Kenya or Uganda. Instead, both countries brought in SuperSport, which introduced foreign leagues.
"So it became a competition between the international leagues and the local leagues, which are better marketed worldwide with the best players and best cameras, which took the fans away from supporting what is locally theirs.”
“In Tanzania, you struggle to watch the Premier League, but they are a good inspiration. Yet when you see all three teams compete head-to-head, they are all almost at the same level, but sportingly, we are not yet far stretched," he explained.
The Ugandan Member of Parliament also acknowledged the existence of traditional football rivalry, which he says is good for the development of soccer in respective countries.
“For a league to be strong, there must be some traditional clubs that are rivals, and we have the Mashemeji Derby, which was good enough. In Uganda, we had SC Villa-Express FC, which was good enough.
“In Tanzania, we have the Simba-Yanga, and we are talking about the early 90s when these leagues were strong and appealing to local fans," he concluded.