Friday, November 28, 2014

CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Cancelled

The 2014 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup has been called off after none of the 12 member countries expressed interest in hosting the tournament on short notice.

The annual regional event was scheduled to be hosted in Ethiopia from November 24-December 9 but Cecafa announced last month that the hosts had withdrawn following domestic and international engagements.

The Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) expressed concern about their national team's involvement in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualifiers and their domestic football league.

Sources close to Cecafa confirmed that the 38th edition of the regional tournament will not go on as expected despite Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye's earlier statement that Sudan had showed interest in hosting the competition.

The Kenya Harambee Stars are the defending champions after they defeated the Falcons of Sudan 2-0 in the final last year in Nairobi. Uganda is the most successful country with 13 titles.

Rwanda has only won the regional title once when Rwanda B defeated Kenya 3-1 in 1999 when it was hosted in Kigali.

The Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup is the oldest regional tournament on the African continent that dates back to an inaugural match played between Uganda and Kenya in 1926 when it was called the Gossage Cup.

Rwanda is expected to host next year's edition which will be a test event ahead of the 2016 Africa Nations Cup (Chan) which will be held in January.

Meanwhile, the Ferwafa spokesman Moussa Hakizimana told this paper that the National Football League will go on with matches expected to be played mid-December moved forward to this weekend.

Ferwafa had brought some matches forward due to anticipation of Cecafa being held from November 24-December 9.

The reigning league champions APR will host Gicumbi at the Kigali regional stadium while SC Kiyovu will host Espoir at the Mumena stadium on November 29.

On Sunday, AS Kigali takes on Etincelles at the Kigali regional stadium, Marines host Musanze at the Umuganda stadium while Police will be up against Isonga at the Kicukiro stadium.

Mukura face Amagaju at the Mumena stadium while Sunrise host Rayon Sports in Rwamagana.