APR’s conquerors in the Orange Champions League TP Mazembe and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns are some of the clubs who have requested to feature in this year’s Cecafa/Kagame Club Championship set for May 15-29 in Kigali.
Sundowns, Rayon Sport, Heartland of Nigeria (last year’s Champions League finalists) and TP Mazembe, who stormed the third round of Africa’s premier club competition after Sunday’s 2-0 win over APR, have approached the regional football body (Cecafa) about a possibility of featuring in the competition.
“On the face of things, it is great that such big clubs cherish to play in the competition but their involvement will depend on the available funds,” the body’s Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said, adding that their participation would definitely make the competition a thrilling one.
“Their involvement will certainly make the competition more competitive. The executive will meet this week to decide on the matter.”
Last year, Atraco romped to the title after a shocking 1-0 win over hosts El-Merreikh in the final. It was the biggest upset in the competition’s 34-year history not only because it was the taxi-men’s debut in the event but also because El-Merreikh had hammered Atraco 6-1 in the group stage.
TP Mazembe settled for bronze after a 2-0 victory over Mathare United of Kenya.
This year, Atraco and reigning league champions APR will represent Rwanda. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will represent Uganda; Simba SC will fly Tanzania’s flag while Sofapaka will represent Kenya.
For the last seven years, Rwandan president Paul Kagame has been a huge bankroller of the event.