Zambia, Cote d`Ivoire seek to grace Challenge Cup
African champions Zambia and top ranked Cote d’Ivoire are among countries that are seeking to participate in the 2012 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup due in Kampala, Uganda, according to Cecafa’s SG Nicholas Musonye.
Musonye said a total of five countries that have expressed interest to compete in the 12-member nation competition which traditionally welcomes guests. Others are Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Cameroon.
Confirmation of Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire will come up after final matches of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers from October 12 to 14.
The two nations are in line to qualify for the Afcon finals in South Africa in January and whether or not they would still be keen to take part in the Challenge Cup will only be clear after the qualifiers.
Zambia takes a 1-0 lead to the deciding match against Uganda in Kampala and Cote d’Ivoire has a 4-2 advantage before their return fixture away in Senegal.
As regular Cecafa guests, Zambia have recently won the Challenge Cup, beating Sudan in the 2006 final in Ethiopia -- and last took part in the 2009 edition held in Kenya.
Cote d’Ivoire was the losing finalists against Tanzania Mainland in Dar es Salaam in 2010.
“We shall definitely have one or two guest teams. The Cecafa governing Council will meet and decide which of the countries will be given the available two slots,” Musonye said on Friday.
Musonye noted that among Cecafa members, eight had already confirmed their entries, with the deadline set for October 8. The tournament runs between November 24 and December 8 in Uganda.
Cecafa members that have confirmed participation are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania (Mainland), Uganda and Zanzibar. Those still to confirm are Burundi, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan.
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