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Challenge Cup in Uganda as Cecafa announce full programme

THE Cecafa organisation has agreed on a provisional programme for 2019 with three dates decided for tournaments in Rwanda, Eritrea and Uganda. However, they have not marked down dates for four other championships.

Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) urged the 11-member nations’ football association to co-operate so that all competitions are held promptly.

“FIFA has supported us in especially developing regional women and youth football which are the core areas of tapping talent,” Musonye told CapitalSport of Kenya. He added: “The [Cecafa] Kagame Cup [Club Championship] and the [senior men’s] Challenge Cup is upon us, the Cecafa Secretariat, to fund and the good thing is that members have committed to supporting these and ensure we don’t miss. This year all the competitions will be successful.”

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto (second from left) awards the winner's medal to Kenya coach ---- after his team had beaten Zanzibar --- in the final of the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto (second from left) awards the winner’s medal to Kenya coach Paul Put after his team had beaten Zanzibar 3-2 in the final of the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos. Top: Kenyan doctor  Wycliffe Makanga after attending to a Zanzibar player during the Challenge Cup in Machakos

The earliest confirmed start date is for the Cecafa Kagame Cup [Club Championship] in Rwanda from July 26. After a long time of isolation, Eritrea will be welcoming Cecafa members to the boys’ Under 17 championship beginning August 17. The most senior tournament on the Cecafa calendar, the (men’s) Challenge, with a history dating back to 1926 (Kenya v Uganda) will this year be hosted by Uganda from December 1.

But FUFA (Federation of Uganda Football Associations) have already caused the abandonment of the men’s U20 Championship that should have been held this month, announcing their inability to host when teams such as Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi had already announced their squads. The re-arranged date is a September 14 start, still in Uganda.

Kenya (right) against Somalia at Muyinga, Burundi during the 2017 Cecafa U17 Championship

Kenya (right) against Somalia at Muyinga, northern Burundi during the 2017 Cecafa U17 Championship

The Cecafa leaders have just attended the launching of Fifa’s regional (Cecafa) development centre in Addis Ababa Ethiopia which was done by Fifa President Gianni Infantino. This was also on the sidelines of the African Union’s heads of states and governments summit. Infantino also participated in a Fifa/AU agreement on “common strategies and programmes with a focus on the areas of education, good governance and the fight against corruption, as well as safety and security at football matches.”

The MoU was signed by FIFA President Infantino, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki and Conféderation Africaine de Football (CAF) President Ahmad.

Under the new MoU, FIFA, CAF and the AU will join forces to support education using football for all schoolchildren of all member countries of the AU, which will also include the development and training of teachers. This will include the implementation of FIFA’s new Football for Schools Programme, which will see the distribution of 11 million balls to as many schools as possible around the globe while contributing to the development of life skills of children through the promotion of the key values of football.

FIFA has allocated a budget of $100 million (Sh1 billion) to the Football for Schools Programme over the next four-year cycle, and pilot projects will start in Mauritania, Botswana and Rwanda soon.

CAF President Ahmad (centre) is welcomed by Gitega Governor --- for the final of the Cecafa 2017 U17 Championship at Stade de Gitega, Burundi

CAF President Ahmad (centre) is welcomed by Gitega Governor Venant Manirambona, for the final of the Cecafa 2017 U17 Championship at Stade de Gitega, Burundi

The second pillar of the agreement signed today will aim to promote safety and security at football matches. FIFA will use its broad expertise in this field and work in cooperation with relevant public and private stakeholders. The collaboration will focus on capacity-building on legislative aspects, the development of stadium safety & security management measures and interventions, as well as engagement in best practise exchange across AU countries.

CECAFA programme 2019

Rwanda: Kagame Cup (July 26) – MEN

Eritrea:  U17 Championship (August 17) – MEN

Uganda: U20 Championship (September 14) – MEN

U20 Women Championship (-) – WOMEN

Challenge Cup (December 1) – MEN

Kenya: Under-17 Women Championship (–) –  WOMEN

Tanzania:  Women Challenge Cup (–) – WOMEN

-Additional reporting by Correspondents

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