Cecafa boss Musonye blasts members amid sabotage claims

CECAFA secretary General Nicholas Musonye addresses journalists at his Nyayo National Stadium offices in Nairobi, ...
CECAFA secretary General Nicholas Musonye addresses journalists at his Nyayo National Stadium offices in Nairobi, Kenya on November 11, 2015. He has announced a marketing deal with Frontier EA.Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Secretary General Nicholas Musonye has blamed widening rifts within the region for the dull year it experienced last year.

Cecafa, the oldest oldest sub-regional football organisation on the African continent, hosted no major tournament during its 2016 calendar save for the revived Women’s Championship held in Uganda.

According to Musonye, federation heads within the East and Central Africa regions which it covers have destabilized the council by ‘choosing to take their eyes off the main agenda’ of developing the sport.

“I’m concerned by the direction we are taking. Instead of looking at how we can improve our football, some of the embers are concentrating on individuals.

“If a person thinks I am Cecafa then they are totally misguided. This council existed before I became part of it and one day I will leave but the football will continue.

“Even Hayatou (Issa) has left the CAF and his life continues. The important question is the legacy you leave behind,” Musonye, who is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cecafa secretariat told Citizen Digital.

In his speech at the Nelson Mandela Plenary Hall – African Union headquarters during the CAF 39th Ordinary General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, decried congestion in the continental and FIFA calendars for Cecafa’s muted 2016.

“As you know, Cecafa is the most active zone but due to fixed CAF and FIFA calendars, we were not able to honor most of our annual events. This year we intend to have all tournaments honoured, with the Kagame Club Championship in Rwanda, the Senior Challenge Cup in Sudan and the U-17 in Eritrea. These deliberations are ongoing,” Musonye announced.

The only positive report was Uganda’s qualification to the 2017 AFCON where they however suffered a group stages exit and Kenya’s African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) debut.

He challenged the member associations to consider the importance of the annual tournaments, noting they are the best platforms for exposing young talent to international competitions.

“It is time our members reconsidered the value of our activities. Besides regional integration, this is the best platform to prepare upcoming players for European and Asian leagues.

“When a person says they do are not bothered when Senior Challenge and Club Championship is not played, it shows lack of commitment and vision,” he charged.

Ethiopia’s Football Federation president Juneido Basha on his part blamed poor organization for the ‘frailing’ Cecafa.

“Of course Ethiopia was concerned for the very pale 2016 year. The problem is organization. We need to be meeting as heads for planning early so that we exhaust matters sponsorship, hosts for various competitions among other things.

“The issue is about participation of every stakeholder in doing this. When you are fully involved you carry the burden,” Basha offered.

National federation heads have denied claims they are sabotaging Musonye’s rule at Cecefa.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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