Burundi vs Somalia
Uganda vs Zanzibar
Rwanda vs Tanzania
Namibia vs Djibouti
Zanzibar vs Burundi
Group A: Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia, Djibouti
Group B: Uganda, Burundi, Zanzibar, Somalia
Group C: Sudan, Malawi, Kenya and Ethiopia
RWANDA open their Tusker Challenge Cup campaign with a tricky tie against defending champions and hosts Tanzania, next Saturday, in Dar es Salaam.
Group A’s other tie pits Djibouti against Namibia, who were drafted in following Eritrea’s withdrawal yesterday.
Amavubi, under their new coach Milutin Micho, will look to turn around last year’s result where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals after a 1-0 defeat.
After playing Tanzania, Rwanda will face Namibia before Djibouti in their final group game.
The tournament kicks off next Friday with two Group B ties; Burundi entertains Somalia while eleven-time champions Uganda face Zanzibar.
Sudan, Malawi, Kenya and Ethiopia make up Group C.
Like Rwanda, Malawi, last year, bowed out at the quarter-final stage after losing to guest side Ivory Coast 1-0. Before crossing over to Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations), Malawi won the tournament three times (1978, 1979 and 1988).
Uganda are still the record champions with 11 titles followed by Kenya (five) and Ethiopia (four). Rwanda’s only triumph was in 1999.
The top two teams in each pool and the best two qualifiers from the three groups will qualify for the quarter finals, set for December 5 -6.
The semi-finals will be played two days later with a third-place play-off and the final slated for December 9 and 11, respectively.