RWANDA’S Issa Kagabo and Theogene Ndagijimana are among 14 referees set to officiate at this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
According to Cecafa’s Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, the referees were seconded by their respective football federations.
Kagabo, who will be handling his 11th Challenge Cup competition said, “It a great honour to be selected once again. It shows the trust the federation has in me.”
The list also includes Israel Nkongo and Hamis Chang’walu from Tanzania, Dennis Bade and Hussein Bugembe from Uganda, the Kenyan pair of Thomas Onyango and Elias Wamalwa, Tesema Kamnati and Solomon Kebleslasi of Ethiopia, Burundi’s Charles Nsikimana, Somalia’s Omar Odad and Sudan’s pair of Lilas Librado and Mustapha Megnani.
Musonye also confirmed that a special committee would be put in place to work closely with the referees in an effort to try and minimize poor refereeing.
“This is the biggest competition in the region and we are doing everything we can to make sure it is a success,” the official noted.
This year, Rwanda has been drawn in Group B alongside West African giants Ivory Coast, Sudan and Zanzibar and Amavubi head coach Sellas Tetteh has been quick to tag the group as the toughest in the competition.
“For me, this is the toughest group in the competition but I still expect the team to wrestle their way into the next round,” he was quoted as saying last week.
Rwanda opens her campaign against Ivory Coast and there is no doubt that Tetteh will try not to dwell so much into the team’s recent meetings.
In January, the wasps suffered a 0-2 defeat in Ivory Coast’s final build-up to the 2010 Africa Nations Cup which was held in Angola.
And more recently, the team succumbed to a 0-3 away defeat in the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.
However, Tetteh and his wasps will take solace from the fact that Ivory Coast will be fielding a completely different side; without their foreign based players like Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Eboue, the Toure brothers; Yaya and Kolo among others. Defending champions Uganda have been drawn in Group C against arch rivals Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi while Group A pits hosts Tanzania against Burundi, Somalia and one of the tournament’s guest teams Zambia.
The top two teams in each group and the best two qualifiers from all the three groups will qualify to the quarter finals.
Serengeti Breweries are the official sponsors after splashing $450,000 (approx. Rwf263m) into the two-week tournament which is scheduled to run from November 21 to December 5.