2008 GTV Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup
Group A: Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Somalia
Group B: Kenya, Sudan, Zambia, Djibouti and Burundi
Jan 1: Zanzibar v Somalia
Jan 1: Uganda v Rwanda
Dec31: Zambia v Djibouti
Dec 31: Sudan v Kenya
Rwanda’s team for the forthcoming 2008 Cecafa Seniors Challenge Cup due in Uganda from December 31-January 13 departs on Monday 29, one day before their much anticipated match against bitter rivals and hosts Uganda.
The Amavubi Stars, who knocked out Uganda Cranes at the semi-final stage of last year’s edition, are drawn in Group A alongside Tanzania, Zanzibar and Somalia.
The tournament kicks off with a Group B game between Zambia and Djibouti on December 31.
This group that also has defending champions Sudan, Kenya and Burundi will be based in Jinja, 80km from Uganda’s Capital, Kampala.
Two groups of five teams will play preliminaries after which the top two sides will automatically advance to the last four.
Ferwafa Chief Executive Officer Jules Kalisa yesterday told Times Sport that traveling contingent will have twenty players and seven officials. Kalisa quickly highlighted that the local body will be footing the bills for the extra two officials as Cecafa only takes care of 25 squad members.
The team will also travel without a couple of key players like Haruna Niyonzima, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza and Jean Luc Ndayishimiye.
The trio is part of the U-20 team that is currently in Tunisia gearing up for next month’s African Youth Championship due in Kigali.
With the team already deprived of the services of influential player Patrick Mafisango who pulled out of the squad last week citing family commitments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, national coach Tucak Branko will now rely on the services of Jean Lomami and Elias Ntaganda.
The duo was recently recalled to the team that is preparing for the two week long tournament.
The pair had been dropped on the account of poor discipline during their international friendly last month in Lome, Togo.
Rwanda went on to lose the game 1-0. Last year, Rwanda under former coach Kuza reached the final only to lose to Sudan 2-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time.
Amavubi Stars were drawn in group A alongside Tanzania, Zanzibar and perennial whipping boys Somalia.
Group B has defending champions Sudan, Kenya, Burundi, Zambia and Djibouti and their matches will be based at Bugembe stadium in Jinja.
Uganda Cranes, the most successful team in the competition is gunning for her tenth title.
On top failing to win the regional tournament since 2003, the hosts are desperate for a consolation trophy after failing to qualify for the final round of the 2010 World/African Nations Cup.
Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan are the only teams in the region that reached this stage. The tournament is also expected to be Tucak’s first taste of action in the region.