Amavubi camp in disarray

Bobo Bola leaves for Kinshasa Cecafa Cup fixtures Group AUganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar and Somalia

Bobo Bola leaves for Kinshasa

Cecafa Cup fixtures

Group A
Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar and Somalia

Group B
Sudan, Kenya, Zambia , Burundi and Djibouti

December 31
Zambia    v   Djibouti
Sudan     v    Kenya

January 1, 2009
Zanzibar  v  Somalia
Uganda    v  Rwanda

With one week to go to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup championship due in Kampala, Uganda, Amavubi Stars’ camp has been thrown in panic with professional players absconding from camp.

Amavubi player; Sweden based Bobo Bola has shunned the team’s intensive physical training despite only ten days left for Rwanda to start its quest for the Cecafa Challenge Cup title.

However according to an insider Bobo Bola who plays for Landkronabois left for Kinshasa, DRC over the weekend. According to the source Bobo had talks with national team coach Tucak Branko in which he told the coach that he was here on holiday and not to play for the team.

Despite being in the country, Greece Based Karim Kamanzi who guided Amavubi Stars to 2004 CAN finals held in Tunis has not reported to the camp for the last three days but according to reports the pair (Kamanzi and Bobo) is dodging the intensive training and is expected back in the team next week when the Branko will be expected to reduce on the exhaustive training.

The duo that was summoned to feature for Amavubi at this year’s regional tournament last appeared in training on Thursday.

Bobo last  appeared for training on Thursday and after witnessing the intensive physical training offered by Coach Tucak Branko the striker failed to turn up for the rest of the sessions up-to-date.

National team captain Oliver Karekezi has not appeared for the sessions since mid last week but the 25-year old will not be part of Tucak’s squad for the regional tournament as he is tuning up his form ahead of the January European transfer window.

It’s a main blow to Branko Tucak who was considering inviting professional players to better his ambition of winning the next edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup due in Kampala, Uganda from December 31 to January 13.

Tucak told Times Sport recently that he expects to use a mixture of home based players and professionals as he builds his Amavubi squad for the event that Rwanda has only won once but reached four finals.

“I will summon all players, be it locally-based or professionals with only one thing on my mind, to win the Cecafa Challenge Cup,” admitted the Croat.

Tucak named his choice of professional players as Olivier Karekezi (Ham Kam), Hamad Ndikumana (Omonio Nicosia), Bobo Bola (Landkronabois), Said Abedi, Henri Munyaneza, Saddou Boubakary (Libya) and Jimmy Mulisa (Belgium).

However, the local football federation, Ferwafa wants to use the tournament to groom a new side based on home-based players, and so they don’t find interests in inviting professionals.

Ferwafa Chief Executive Officer Jules Kalisa said that no club would be willing to release any of their players since Cecafa Challenge Cup is not a Fifa-recognised competition.

“I would therefore find it more suitable to field local talents in this competition, a feat which would also help in forming a new side as well,” Kalisa said.

The Amavubi under former coach Kuze reached the finals last year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania but lost to Sudan 4-2 on penalties after full time had ended in a fascinating 2-2 draw.

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.


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