More woes for Rayon as another key player misses Dar trip
Simba v Tusker, 3pm
Yanga v APR, 3pm (Dar es Salaam)
URA v Rayon Sport, 3pm (Moro)
Vital’O v Benadir, 3pm (Dar)
Rayon Sports chances of making any impact on this year’s Cecafa/Kagame cup club championship were dealt yet another blow after midfielder Abdul Uwimana was denied a passport by the immigration office.
Although the cause has remained confidential, reliable sources say the immigration office wants Uwimana to produce the old passport he was given before he disappeared while on national team duty in Germany in 2006. The midfielder vanished from Amavubi Stars’ camp and he only return to Rwanda early this year to rejoin Rayon.
Uwimana becomes the sixth key player to be ruled out the regional championship which gets underway today in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Others include Labama Bokota, Kalisa Kase, Taribo Emma, Cyril Pizzolera, and Geremi Dusenge.
Rayon continued with what is fast becoming their tradition of causing a stir every time the team is traveling out for international engagements after the players demanded to be paid their unpaid salaries before traveling to Dar es Salaam.
Initially, the two teams (Rayon and APR) were supposed to fly out on Wednesday but the former had to postpone their trip to Thursday after meeting the players’ demands.
Meanwhile, the tournament organizers have made changes to the fixtures after two more teams, Djibouti’s SID and Eritrea’s Denden pulled out at the last minute for financial reasons.
According to the new arrangements, both APR and Rayon will play their opening matches tomorrow. Initially, only APR were to play on Sunday while Rayon’s first game had been scheduled for Monday.
Only one match is scheduled on the opening day when the hosts Simba take on Kenya’s Tusker at the national stadium of Dar es Salaam.
National stadium cleared for use
In a related development, the Tanzania government has consented to the use of the new national stadium. This confirmation was announced on Thursday by the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) president Leodegar Tenga.
Also confirmed for this 60,000-seater ultra modern stadium is tomorrow’s group C tie between current Tanzania champions Young Africans and defending champions APR.
“Other matches to be used here will depend on the ‘weight’ of the fixture,” Tenga is said to have told a Press conference.
The stadium, built with Chinese aid was completed last year but is yet to be officially handed over to the government.
But it has since hosted several matches, the most recent being the World Cup qualifier between Tanzania and Cameroon last month.
The stadium will also host the rest of the Dar es Salaam matches which include group A and C. Group B matches will be in Morogoro.
Our sources in Dar es Salaam say that according to Cecafa general secretary, Nicholas Musonye, all arrangements for this year’s tournament are complete.
‘What is remaining now is for Tanzanians to turn up in large numbers to make this championship a financial success,” Musonye said.
This year’s tournament is sponsored by President Paul Kagame, to the tune of $60.000 (for cash prizes), Tanzania Breweries through their Castle Lager brand and Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, who will be broadcasting live all the matches.