REGIONAL teams have every reason to double their preparation after it was revealed that the winner of this year’s Cecafa Kagame Cup Championship is earmarked to pocket a lump sum $100,000 (Rwf 59.3m).
According to the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa) Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, tournament organizers and sponsors ‘El Merreikh Group’ have doubled the cash reward for this year’s winner.
About twelve teams from Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Somalia, Burundi and Egypt are expected to take part in the annual event now scheduled to run from June 21 – July 5.
On top of increasing the prize money, El Merreikh Group has also agreed to provide air tickets to all participating teams, referees and Cecafa officials; cover full board accommodation and local transport and logistics for all delegations.
The tournament will be held in Sudan. Initially, it had been awarded to Zanzibar but internal crisis, poor resources and lack of seriousness forced Cecafa to reassess their decision.
Last week, Musonye confirmed that the Zanzibar FA had failed to meet potential requirements of hosting the championship.
“Zanzibar FA admitted that they were not in position to foot expenses for teams, referees and officials,” he was quoted as saying.
“In this regard, Cecafa held a successful meeting with Sudan FA and El Merreikh Group in Khartoum and I’m glad to inform everyone that Sudan has agreed to host the tournament.”
Besides El Mereikh Group’s contribution, Cecafa are also guaranteed $60,000 (Rwf35.76m) from President Paul Kagame.
Member countries have up to April 30 to confirm their respective participating teams.
APR are the defending champions after edging Ethiopia’s St. George 2-1 in last year’s final.