Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has disclosed why its leaders did not attend a meeting organised by the minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe.

The minister called a meeting with the TFF leaders after learning of the dismissal of Taifa Stars coach Emmanuel Amunike.

He wanted to know what the TFF was planning to lift the country’s football following the elimination of Stars at Africa Cup of Nations 2019 and immediate sacking of the coach.

Stars competed in the continental premier tournament for the first time since 1980 and managed to score two goals. They exited their group without a point.

However, in a statement signed by the TFF secretary general Kidao Wilfred, the leaders could not attend the minister’s meeting because they had a duty of receiving auditors from the world football governing body, Fifa.

“The TFF was ready to meet with the minister on July 8, but the ministry informed them that it was postponed to June 9, which was also pushed back to the next day,” reads part of the statement.

“However, the TFF had other Fifa duties as its auditors were visiting the federation and we informed his ministry of their arrival so that they could fix a new date because the meeting with Fifa officials was planned since January.

According to Kidao, they also informed the minister that the TFF president, Wallace Karia, was not in the country and acting vice president Athuman Nyamlani had other duties, which could not be postponed.

According to the statement, the TFF officials were willing to meet him on the date that will be agreed by both parties.

Sources in the ministry say the meeting may take place on July 24 in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, Kidao said there was a mutual agreement over the termination of the Nigerian tactician, Amunike.

Stars finished at the bottom of Group C without recording any point from their three games. Their first game was a 2-0 loss against Senegal, before suffering a narrow 3-2 loss against Kenya. They then concluded their group stage games with a heavy 3-0 defeat to group leaders Algeria. Stars were led by Zamalek legend Amunike, who helped them reach their first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals in 39 years. They finished second in their qualifying group with eight points, five behind leaders Uganda.

Despite the historical achievement, the TFF decided to part ways with the former Barcelona forward.