Voice of Sport

Kenya FA wasted time destablising Cecafa; time for change, says Musonye as he hands out Nile Basin Cup invite

Al-Ubayyid in Sudan’s North Kordofan state has put up one of the best stadiums in Africa in readiness of Cecafa club tournament where Ulinzi Stars of Kenya Defence Forces will represent the country


THE Cecafa Nile Basin Cup for regional clubs that finished second in their domestic leagues last season is set to take place in Sudan next month and give international exposure to more players.

Kenyan Premier League’s Ulinzi Stars are eager to represent their country and the secretary general of Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] Nicholas Musonye said in Nairobi on Tuesday that it will be a good way for Kenya “to get down to the serious business of playing football” as opposed to “side-shows in the Football Kenya Federation [FKF] that dogged the country for the past four years”.

Terrible administration

He said: “There is a new administration now. Despite all the odds they face, FKF can overcome if they settled down genuinely to work for players, clubs, the fans, the corporate supporters and the country at large.

“Previously, the FKF administration was a terrible eyesore. Their ruinous politicking and side-shows affected Cecafa also.” A Kenyan-led cabal, including other FAs in the region, made a futile jostle for Cecafa leadership resulting in the stalling of 2014/15 tournaments including the Challenge Cup.

Elected

Inaugurated in Sudan in 2014 and roughly like in the coming second edition played between May 23 and June 4, the Nile Basin Cup, like several other 2014/15 Cecafa tournaments, could not take place in 2015.

“But since December last year when a new Cecafa administration under President Dr Mutasim Gafar Sirelkhatim of Sudan was elected and we had a wonderful Challenge Cup tournament in Ethiopia, we are doing everything to organize the best tournament for regional players, clubs, women and the youth and it up to the FAs like Kenya to seize the opportunity to build their teams.”

Kenya women

Musonye noted with admiration that the usually widely neglected Kenya women’s national team created history on Tuesday afternoon in Nairobi to qualify for the first time ever for the Africa Cup of Nations after eliminating Algeria on the away goal rule [2-2 away and 1-1 at home on Tuesday].

AFC Leopards were Kenyan representatives in the inaugural Nile Basin Cup and lost 1-2 in the final at Khartoum Stadium to SC Victoria University of Uganda. The Nile Basin Cup is a tournament wholly sponsored by the Sudan Government and the Sudan Football Association [SFA].

Excellent stadium

All 11 member countries of Cecafa have been invited to send teams and there will possibly guest sides from Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt. Group matches will be in the Sudan capital Khartoum and the city of al-Ubayyid, capital of the federal state of North Kordofan.

“Al-Ubayyid has put up a wonderful stadium; one of the best in Africa and North Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, a great soccer enthusiast and supporter of Cecafa even when he was previously in South Kordofan, has assured all visitors of an excellent soccer competition.”

Zanzibar polls

Organisers are looking forward to the 2016 Kagame Cup club tournament in June/July which Zanzibar bid to host during the last Cecafa Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Said Musonye about the tournament on Tuesday:

“The Zanzibar FA are due to have elections later this week and I hope whoever comes into office will immediately swing into preparations for the Kagame Cup. The Zanzibaris told us they were enthusiastic about hosting the tournament, for the first time in 14 years [last in 2002]”

Cecafa Nile Basin Cup 2014:

Final:

SC Victoria University [Uganda] 2-1 AFC Leopards [Kenya]