Musonye says more room for CECAFA progress


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

In Summary

  • Musonye, says he will be pleased to leave CEACAFA at a point where the rest of the African teams no longer view her members as weaklings in football
  • Musonye has advised the CECAFA members to keep growing the competitions in their annual calendar, underlining their importance in grooming budding talents for international stages

CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye is proud that teams from the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) have posted ‘tremendous’ improvement on the continental map.

Musonye, says he will be pleased to leave CEACAFA at a point where the rest of the African teams no longer view her members as weaklings in football.

Speaking ahead of the Senior Challenge Cup set for Uganda, Kampala from December 7, the outgoing SG said the competition in this year’s edition will be a notch higher drawing from the recent performances in the continentals.

“We had four teams making the finals of 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi. All of them will be in Kampala for the tournament, which tells you the competition is going to be even tougher,” said the veteran regional football administrator.

Musonye has advised the CECAFA members to keep growing the competitions in their annual calendar, underlining their importance in grooming budding talents for international stages.

“The tournament is a good platform for the teams to gauge their players ahead of the next international break in March. When you have no activity for national teams for close to for months, it is not good especially for the players who are freshly challenging for slots in the teams,” he added.

Musonye wants the trend to have CECAFA teams in AFCON to continue, going to Cameroon 2021.

“We had seated and agreed we must have our teams in AFCON. This must continue. In Cameroon we should have even more teams. This will be possible if the cohesiveness we have been fighting to enhance within the region is sustained,” he averred.

However, a major setback in the tournament is the absence of Rwanda, who have opted out of the regional championship citing financial constraints. This is despite the massive support the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has shown for the CECAFA tournaments before, including sponsoring the Club Championship for years.

This comes in the backdrop of the country also pulling out of the 2019 CECAFA U-17 boys tournament held in Uganda, and most recently the Women’s Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania.

However, the void left by the Amavubi Bees will be covered by guests DR Congo, who Musonye says will add a unique spark into the tournament.

“This is a good side coming as a guest team. They are a quality side and looking at the competitiveness we have been talking about they will add good value.”

DRC will be in Group B, which also has Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, while hosts Uganda head Group A that also features Burundi, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Holders Kenya are yet to name the squad for the fiesta, with head coach Francis Kimanzi expected to summon a mix of regular and new faces next week in camp for preparations.

Kenya are in Group C of the Senior Challenge Cup together with Tanzania, Zanzibar and Djibouti.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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