THE 2011 Cecafa Challenge Cup has brought forward to November 24 from November 27, according to the secretariat of the confederation of East and central Africa football associations.
Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of Cecafa told Times Sport yesterday by phone from Nairobi, “We decided to bring forward the tournament so as have the final on December 9 which is the Tanzania’s Independence Day.”
‘However the final has been pushed a day because we thought this might cause some chaos. So dates remain unchanged and I urge participating teams to be ready for the tournament,”
Musonye noted that both West African giants Nigeria and Cameroon have pulled out of the contest to participate in the tournament as guest teams but Cecafa is set to decide on requests from South Africa, Cote d’Iviore, Malawi and Zambia this week to determine the two teams which will compete alongside regional countries.
Amavubi Stars squad will, however, have had ample match preparation, arising from their intermittent regrouping to play international fixtures before the Challenge Cup.
They face Eritrea in the preliminary round of the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers. Amavubi travel to Asmara for the first leg on November 11 before the return leg in Kigali four days later.
All Cecafa member countries, with the exception of higher ranked Uganda and Sudan, will be involved in the Africa Zone preliminary round qualifiers.
Two of the match-ups involve Cecafa teams going head-to-head Somalia vs Ethiopia, who play their first match in Nairobi on November 11 and the return in Addis Ababa, and Kenya and Seychelles who start in Victoria.
The other Cecafa nation matches are: Djibouti vs Namibia and Lesotho vs Burundi. Sudan has certainly qualified for the 2012 AFCON finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next January.