Amavubi regroups for Cecafa on Dec.15

Cecafa Challenge Cup Opening Fixtures December 31 Eritrea   v  Djibouti Sudan    v  Kenya January 1Zanzibar  v  Somalia Uganda    v   Rwanda
Amavubi Star Patrick Mutesa Mafisango in action during last year’s Cecafa Cup. The centre of the park kingpin is expected to be an integral part inTucak’s plans.(File photo)
Amavubi Star Patrick Mutesa Mafisango in action during last year’s Cecafa Cup. The centre of the park kingpin is expected to be an integral part inTucak’s plans.(File photo)

Cecafa Challenge Cup

Opening Fixtures
December 31
Eritrea   v  Djibouti
Sudan    v  Kenya

January 1
Zanzibar  v  Somalia
Uganda   v   Rwanda

The Amavubi Stars are scheduled to start residential training on December 15 ahead of the 32nd edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup due in Kampala, Uganda from December 31 to January 13.

This was confirmed by Ferwafa’s Chief Executive Officer Jules Kalisa. Rwanda, last year’s beaten finalists start this year’s campaign against archrivals and tournament hosts Uganda on New Year’s Day at Namboole stadium.

“Amavubi will regroup on December 15, two days after the end of the first round of the national football league,” said Kalisa.

According to Kalisa, the two-week period is enough for coach Branko Tucak to prepare his team for the event that Rwanda has won just once in 1999 when it was staged in Kigali.

The Amavubi reached the final last year in Dar er Salaam, Tanzania but lost to Sudan 4-2 on penalties after the full had ended in a fascinating 2-2 draw.

However, there has been no confirmation on whether Tucak will need to reinforce his squad of the home based players with the professionals.

Amavubi Stars, who knocked out Uganda Cranes at the semi-final stage last year were drawn in the group A alongside Tanzania, Zanzibar and perennial whipping boys Somalia.

The tournament gets underway with a group B game between Eritrea and Djibouti on December 31 at Bugembe Stadium, Jinja.

This group that also has defending champions Sudan, Kenya and Burundi will be based outside the capital. Two groups of five teams will play preliminaries and the top two will automatically advance to the last four.

Seven of the total 24 matches will be shown live by GTV, starting with the Uganda-Rwanda game. Cranes will be seeking redemption after failing to make the penultimate round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup/African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan are the only teams in the region that have got that far. It will also be Tucak’s first taste of action in a competition that Rwanda has narrowly failed to win over the past three years. In a related development, the Cecafa has received the death of Farah Addo with shock and deep sorrow.

Mr. Addo was the founder member of CECAFA and served as chairman of the Council on two different occasions. In a condolence message to member countries copied to Times Sport, Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye paid tribute to Addo.

“I had the opportunity to work as Addo’s General Secretary during the turbulent era of the late 90’s up to 2002 when he relinquished his post to continue serving as Vice president of CAF.”

Addo will be remembered as a strong character, honest and hard-working. It was during his stint as CECAFA chairman, that he re-organised the region and instilled discipline among its eleven members.

“I personally and on behalf of Cecafa mourn with the family of Addo and urge young sports administrators to emulate the virtues of Addo that made him the rock of African football. May God rest his soul in eternal peace.”

Addo, born in 1940 in Mogadishu, went through all stage of the game, football, referee and administration.

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