FOLLOWING his unmatched support in developing football in the region, it is not surprising that the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) has candidly backed Rwandan president Paul Kagame to win next month’s presidential elections.
Cecafa chief Leodegar Tenga recently lauded Kagame for his unrelenting support.
“President Kagame has supported the Club Championship (Kagame Cup) for the last 15 years and given the regional football body a life line in running its other programs.”
“He has been exemplary in developing the game in the region.”
Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye who has carried the mantle for over eight years and has battled to look for sponsorship says that Kagame has done a lot during the past 16 years and deserves to stay in power.
“We have documented President Kagame’s history and development record and we believe he is the right man to continue with the programmes he has put in place.”
“As a football organization, we cannot sit on the periphery when such important decisions are being made in our zone. We have to take a stand,” said Musonye.
Cecafa Club Cup is the top most football club competition involving giant sides from the East and Central region. It was re-named Cecafa-Kagame Cup in 2002 in recognition of the President’s support.
The tourney has grown in statute because of his big sponsorship; each year, he injects $60000 worth of cash prizes for winning teams.
Although Kagame started in a small way, he has continued to chip in with logistical support to help the standard of football grow in the region.
This year, the government of Rwanda injected US$1m (Rwf550m) into the annual tournament making it the biggest ever in the history of the competition.
Musonye added, “Kagame has always played his part in supporting football because it gives good results, even politically. His love for sport continuously shows no sign of waning and this clearly shows as he graces many international games in Rwanda when time permits.”
“His support for the tournament has even influenced other sponsors to come on board. Zanzibar President Abed Karume, GTV that closed shop last year and Ethiopian/Saudi businessman Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, who bankrolled the Senior Challenge Cup in 2005 to 2006, have all come to the fore.”