It is a scarlet day for the football family, people and government of Zanzibar as the small semi-autonomous Tanzanian Achipelago was admitted as a full member of the Confederation of Africa Football CAF.
Delegates at the General Assembly of the Africa football governing body gave a unanimous approval for the admission of the Sanzibar Football Association as the 55th member of the body.
The overwhelming welcome of Zanzibar followed several months of lobby and a resounding presentation by the President of Tanzania Football Federation, Jamal Malinzi, in which he made a strong case for the admission of Kiswahili and Arabic speaking territory into full CAF membership.
Malinzi chronicled the achievements of Zanzibar football through the years to present times to convince the house that it was time to elevate the tiny nation of about 1.3m people from associate to full membership.
Malinzi’s presentation was met with a big yes vote across the floor giving room for the President of the Zanzibar FA, Ravia Idarus Faina, to step up in appreciation of the unanimous solidarity from across Africa.
The full status accords Zanzibar the right to participate in all CAF and FIFA competitions, hosts CAF conferences and clinics and vote and be voted for in CAF elections.
Under its associate status, Zanzibar was limited to participation in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup.