Rwanda has been drawn in the same group with bitter rivals Uganda for the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup. The draws were held in Dar-es-Salaam yesterday.
The Amavubi Stars are in Pool B along with, the Uganda Cranes, Eritrea and Djibouti for the regional championship set for December 8-22 in Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam,
Hosts Tanzania are in Pool A, which also has Kenya, Burundi and Somalia while Pool C has three teams; Nations Cup bound Sudan, last year’s losing finalists Ethiopia and 1998 champions Zanzibar.
According to Cecafa Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye who talked to Times Sport by phone from Dar es Salaam, three teams from Pools A and B and two from Pool C will qualify for the quarter finals.
Rwanda and Uganda are two sides expected to fight to the top spot in their group while the same would be applied to Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania in Pool A.
The Amavubi Stars beat the Cranes 1-0 in the semi-finals of the same tournament 2005 held in Kigali thanks to a late Oliver Karekezi goal. Ethiopia won the tournament after defeating the hosts 1-0 in the final.
Also Rwanda defeated Uganda 4-2 on spot kicks to take the third position in the 2006 edition held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Last week Cecafa struck a four-year sponsorship deal worthy $6 millions with GTV, which runs until 2010.
The British Gateway pay-per-view television replaces Ethiopian tycoon Sheik Al Amoudi as bankrollers of the annual championship.
Last year’s winner Zambia, a guest side that nipped Sudan 1-0 as well as Malawi will not take part in this year’s edition.The seeded teams during the draw were Sudan, Burundi and Uganda basing on their impressive African Cup of nations Qualifier campaign.
Sudan qualified as the best runners on continent while Uganda and Burundi missed out on qualification by a whisker.
Rwanda finished third last year under Michael Nees in Ethiopia but they would be hoping to go a step or two better under new coach Josip Kuze.