CECAFA faces criticism for Cecafa Kagame Cup scheduling

No Rwandan side has won the annual regional competition since APR in 2010. (Courtesy)

Rwanda has been picked by the Council of Eastern and Central Africa Associations (CECAFA) as the host nation for the 2019 Cecafa Kagame Cup, scheduled for July 7-21.

Cecafa leadership has approved a tight calendar that involves seven tournaments to be played within a period of seven months, starting with the premier regional club championship in July.

However, the Cecafa secretariat has been criticised for scheduling the event at the time when 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be underway in Egypt. Four Cecafa member states – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi – will be taking part in the continental showpiece.

The AFCON 2019 finals tournament runs from June 21 through July 19.

As hosts, Rwanda will be represented by three clubs; Rayon Sports, APR and Mukura. The last time when Rwanda hosted the competition, in 2014, the country was represented by APR, Rayon and Police.

Cecafa Kagame Cup, the oldest regional club tournament in Africa, will be coming to Rwanda for its fifth time in 15 years. The country also hosted previously hosted the regional tournament in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2014 when APR lost to Sudan’s El Merreikh in the final.

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, hosted the tournament last year when Azam FC clinched the title with a 2-1 win over Simba SC in an all-Tanzanian final.

APR, one of Rwanda’s representatives at the championships, failed to go past the group stage, while their local rivals Rayon were sent packing from the round of last eight.

Cecafa has been known as the Kagame Interclub Cup since 2002, when President Paul Kagame began sponsoring the competition.

Kagame, a staunch supporter of football and sports in general, pumps $60,000 in cash for prizes, and an additional $15,000 for promotional materials into the tournament.






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