As Zambia replaces Eritrea
Bahrain v Rwanda
Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Somalia
Kenya, Sudan, Zambia, Djibouti and Burundi
Zambia v Djibouti
January 1, 2009
Uganda v Rwanda
AMAVUBI STARS have been boosted by the arrival of four professional players ahead of this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup due in Kampala on December 31.
The quartet includes Bobo Bola (Landkronabois), Omar Hitimana (KCC), Olivier Karekezi (Ham Kam) and Karim Kamanzi who plays in Greece.
The four are expected to strength the midfield and striking line. Though currently camping with Amavubi Stars, Amavubi skipper Karekezi has ruled himself out of the regional tournament after a tiresome season in the Norwegian Tipperligaen.
It is said that the 25-year-old is only using the training sessions to keeping his fitness ahead of January’s European transfer window.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s Chipolopolo has been invited to participate in Cecafa as a late replacement for Eritrea who withdrew citing a slippery political environment at home.
Zambia will play in Group B alongside Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti and defending champions Sudan.
Zambia, a five-time finalist at the regional tournament won the trophy in 1991 before switching allegiance to Cosafa.
Zambia’s last appearance in the tournament came two years ago in Ethiopia when they went on to win the tournament after defeating Sudan in the final.
Rwanda will face Zambia in the final round of the 2010 World/Africa Cup qualifiers set to begin in March, 2009.
Ferwafa Chief Executive Officer Jules Kalisa said that Zambia’s presence in this tournament will help Rwanda to clearly understand their kind of football ahead of the final round of the World/Africa cup qualifiers.
Amavubi Stars, last year’s losing finalists are expected to land in Kampala on December 28, two days after their friendly with Bahrain.
Rwanda start their campaign against archrivals and tournament hosts Uganda Cranes on New Year’s Day at Namboole Stadium.
The top two form each group automatically advance to the last four. 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.