CECAFA local organizing committee has ruled out any possibility of inviting Cote d’Ivoire to compete in the 2013 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup slated to run from November 27 to December 12 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Speaking to Times Sport yesterday from Nairobi, Cecafa’s Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said, “Cote d’Ivoire will not be invited because it is expensive to fly them to Nairobi and maintain them for the duration of the tournament.
“But we have agreed to have Malawi and Zambia because it is relatively cheap,” he confirmed, adding that inviting Cote d’Ivoire would cost the organisers over $25,000 (about Rwf17m).
Three Western Kenyan cities of Mumias, Kisumu, Nakuru and the capital, Nairobi are the four venues ear-marked to host Africa’s oldest football tournament, first played in 1926.
Mombasa may host some of the matches but its availability was still a strong subject of consultations and debates by the hosts and organisers.
Kenya will be privileged to host the Fifa 2014 World Cup trophy at the opening ceremony for the regional tournament that will also be graced by CAF President Isa Hayatou.
Twelve countries including Eric Nshimiyimana’s Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Zanzibar, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and hosts Kenya have already confirmed participation.
This year’s event will coincide with Kenya’s 50 years of Independence celebrations dubbed ‘Kenya at 50’. The tournament will be covered live courtesy of Super-Sports beaming the matches across the African continent while partnering with KBC as the host broadcaster.
Uganda is record Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup winners with an overwhelming 13 titles, having won the last edition in 2012 on home turf at Namboole national stadium. Kenya have five titles, while Sudan, Malawi and Tanzania have won the tournament three times apiece.
Zambia (2) and Zimbabwe, who shifted to the COSAFA tournament, have won the annual tournament once just like Zanzibar, Rwanda and Zanzibar. Rwanda B won the title in 1999 after defeating Kenya 3-1 in Kigali.