No venue for Rwanda U-23, Somalia return leg tie

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has turned down Somalia’s request to host Rwanda U-23 at the Moi International sports centre at Kasarani, Nairobi in the return leg of the CAF U-23 qualifier set for May 9.
Amavubi midfielder Bonfils Kabanda goes past a Somalia defender in the first leg. it is not clear where the return leg will take place after Kenya football federation ruled out providing a venue due to security concerns. (T. Kisambira)
Amavubi midfielder Bonfils Kabanda goes past a Somalia defender in the first leg. it is not clear where the return leg will take place after Kenya football federation ruled out providing a venue due to security concerns. (T. Kisambira)

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has turned down Somalia’s request to host Rwanda U-23 at the Moi International sports centre at Kasarani, Nairobi in the return leg of the CAF U-23 qualifier set for May 9.

FKF secretary general Michael Esakwa informed the Somalia Football Federation (SFF) and Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) that this was not possible due to the security concerns in the region.

In a letter dated May 4, Esakwa noted that, “Following your national association’s (Somalia) letter dated 14thApril 2015 requesting to play the above return leg match in Kenya, our federation has been willing to host your team on the weekend of 9th/10th May 2015.”

“Arising from the security situation in our region, it is mandatory that we must get clearance from the Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also we wish to bring to your attention that on Saturday, 9th May 2015 the day you have requested for the match, we shall be hosting the Botswana National Team at the Nyayo National Stadium in the same competition.”

“We therefore [take] this opportunity to inform the Somalia Football Federation that in lieu of the lack of getting the necessary Government’s clearance, Football Kenya Federation is therefore regrettably constrained to host the above referenced match.”

SFF secretary general Hassan Mohamed Mohamud had earlier sent a letter to FERWAFA copying CAF and CECAFA confirming that the game will be played at Kasarani, however, FKF ruled out this option on Monday.

FERWAFA has requested the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to inquire from the SFF where the return leg will be hosted. The winner of this tie will face Uganda and the team that emerges victorious from that encounter will face Egypt in the final round of qualification for the CAF U-23 Championship slated for December 5-19 in Senegal.

The top three teams at the continental showpiece will qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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