Kenya land Libya, Rwanda, in Cecafa pairing


Harambee Stars players jog ahead of their training session at Safaricom Stadium on Monday, March 15, 2016. ...
Harambee Stars players jog ahead of their training session at Safaricom Stadium on Monday, March 15, 2016. PHOTO/StaffordOndego/www.sportpicha.com

Kenya’s Harambee Stars have been pooled in group A alongside Rwanda, Libya, Tanzania and Zanzibar, for the 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The two week football bonanza will run from December 3-17 .Kenya and her group A opponents will be based in Kisumu, while group B which has defending champions Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and guest team Zimbabwe, will be based Kakamega.

Sudan and Eritrea will however not take part in this year’s competition.

The Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Kisumu County Stadium, and the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru– will host the matches, while the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarsani and the Mumias Complex will  act as alterative venues in case of  poor weather conditions.

Uganda cranes football team pose a photograph moments before their 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup match against Burundi at the Hawassa International Stadium in Ethiopia on November 28, 2015. Uganda won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Uganda cranes football team pose a photograph moments before their 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup match against Burundi at the Hawassa International Stadium in Ethiopia on November 28, 2015. Uganda won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

Tanzanian based pay television channel, Azam, will broadcast the matches.

Harambee Stars under Stanley Okumbi will however play all its matches in the humid city of Kisumu, as arch rivals Uganda make Bukhungu its home.

Kenya last lifted the title in 2013 in Nairobi, with Allan Wanga’s brace inflicting the damage on the Sudanese.

Harambee Stars TM Willis Waliaula (in red) having a chat with Allan Wanga (centre) and Anthony Okumu in a past training session.

The Stars will be aiming to reclaim the honours which they have won six times. The competition was last staged in 2015 in Ethiopia.

Briefing  reporters on Thursday at the Football Kenya Federation headquarters on Thursday, CECAFA secretary general Nicholas Musonye assured stakeholders that the tournament will be a success .

“We are on course. We want to organize the best tourney in Kenya and nothing will stop us. I was assured last week that there will be no security problem. Everyone should know Kenya is stable and that we will organize a good tournament without any hitch.”

Musonye also challenged Harambee Stars to rise to the occasion and perform to their level best.

“We want fans from Kenya and East and Central Africa to turn up in large numbers. Our national team Harambee Stars should prepare well because they are the host team; they should rise to the occasion to make sure they are equal to the task.”

Kenya Sport CS Hassan Wario (centre), Sports Kenya Director General, Gordon Oluoch (left) and Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye follow proceedings of Kenya versust Rwanda during their Cecafa Challenge Cup quarter finals match at the Addis Ababa National stadium in Ethiopia on December 01, 2015. Rwanda won 5-4 on post match penalties. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Kenya Sport CS Hassan Wario (centre), Sports Kenya Director General, Gordon Oluoch (left) and Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye follow proceedings of Kenya versust Rwanda during their Cecafa Challenge Cup quarter finals match at the Addis Ababa National stadium in Ethiopia on December 01, 2015. Rwanda won 5-4 on post match penalties. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

At the same time CECAFA coordinator Herbert Mwachiro said that Kenya will use the opportunity redeem herself after failing to host the CHAN.

“The aim of this event is to pick up ourselves from the disappointment of missing out on the CHAN hosting rights and that’s why we have taken this event to the county level, to the fans who love the game, and we expect them to turn up in large numbers to support the team.”

Group A

Kenya (Stars to be domiciled in kisumu)

Rwanda

Libya

Tanzania

Zanzibar

Group B

Uganda (def champs will be in Bukhungu)

Zimbabwe

Burundi

Ethiopia

South Sudan

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Story By John Mbati
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