Past winners of the CECAFA title
1974 Simba - Tanzania
1975 Yanga - Tanzania
1976 Luo Union- Kenya
1977 Luo Union - Kenya
1978 KCC - Uganda
1979 AFC Leopards- Kenya
1980 AFC Leopards - Kenya
1981 Gor Mahia - Kenya
1982 AFC Leopards - Kenya
1983 AFC Leopards - Kenya
1984 AFC Leopards - Kenya
1985 Gor Mahia - Kenya
1986 El Merreikh - Sudan
1987 SC Villa - Uganda
1988 Breweries - Kenya
1989 Tusker - Kenya
1990 Not held
1991 Simba SC - Tanzania
1992 Simba SC - Tanzania
1993 Yanga - Tanzania
1994 El Merreikh - Sudan
1995 Simba SC - Tanzania
1996 Simba SC - Tanzania
1997 AFC Leopards - Kenya
1998 Rayon Sport - Rwanda
1999 Yanga FC - Tanzania
2000 Tusker FC - Kenya
2001 Tusker FC - Kenya
2002 Simba SC - Tanzania
2003 SC Villa - Uganda
2004 APR FC - Rwanda
2005 SC Villa - Uganda
2006 Police - Uganda
2007 APR FC – Rwanda
This year’s Kagame/Cecafa Club championship has been shifted from Sudan to Tanzania and July has been set as the date for the two-week long tournament, Cecafa secretariat has confirmed the development.
The Cecafa secretary General Nicholas Musonye told Times Sport that Sudan pulled out of hosting the event due to reasons that are yet to be known but Tanzania came on as an immediate replacement.
“Tanzania has been chosen to host the Kagame Cup in July and this is a period that all our regional clubs will be out of continental engagements,” Musonye said.
Musonye further added that 13 clubs will take part in this year’s edition of the Kagame Cup. They include; defending champion APR and Rayon Sport from Rwanda, Simba and Yanga from Tanzania, Harar Beer (Ethiopia), URA(Uganda), Vital’O (Burundi), Tusker FC (Kenya), Al Tahrir (Eritrea), Miembeni SC (Zanzibar), EPS(Djibouti), Elman FC(Somalia) and Al Hilal(Sudan).
Meanwhile, the East and central Africa football governing body, Cecafa is assured of President Paul Kagame’s annual sponsorship package despite being in search for other potential sponsors.
“We want to start searching for other sponsors so as to foot the clubs’ on and off the pitch requirements during the two week tournament.
”The Championship was renamed Kagame six years ago in appreciation for his support to the development of football in the region through sponsoring the annual club championship.
The perennially under-funded East and Central African club championship was rescued with a $60,000 donation from President Paul Kagame in 2002.
Run by the regional body, Cecafa, the tournament, was in danger of collapse.
The winners are be paid 30,000 dollars, runners-up 20,000 dollars and the team which finishes third 10,000 dollars.
For many years the regional body has operated on a shoe-string, and its once prestigious tournaments was overshadowed by once lucrative but now defunct tournaments, such as the Castle Lager Cup and the Hedex Super Cup.
President Kagame became the first President to sponsor a big regional football event and was followed by Abeid Karume of Zanzibar who sponsors the Under-19 Challenge Cup.
The now lucrative tournament had been perennially on the death bed due to lack of money until President Kagame’s sponsorship amounting to US$60,000.
Before, Rwanda’s national team (Amavubi Stars) and clubs used to be the underdogs of football in the region but the now a near-mention of clubs like APR is good enough to sending chilling fears among the more seasoned regional and continental teams.
It was not surprising when Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars qualified for the Nations’ Cup finals in Tunisia. In the run-up to historic feat, the government of Rwanda had fully taken responsibility by sponsoring the Amavubi’s qualifying campaign in which the national team had training stints in Germany.
President Kagame’s involvement and love for the game has largely helped Rwanda remain rich and shinning in football.