Voice of Sport

It’s Kenya Under-20s v Sudan in just over a month; meanwhile weakened Sofapaka make stunning start to new season

Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of Cecafa on Friday also allayed fears that the Ugandans were not ready to host a regional Under-17 tournament in April


A NEW Football Kenya Federation must also embark on preparing a team from scratch to face Sudan at the start of for the qualifiers of the 2017 Under-20 Africa Youth Championship. News of the draw for the Under-17 African tournament where Kenya are paired with Malawi for a June date had ushered in the new FKF office that swept aside the earlier administration headed by Sam Nyamweya.

The Under-20 event finals will take place in Zambia while the Under-17 will be in Madagascar. Kenya notoriously pay little attention to youth and women’s football and FKF under the newly elected head Nicholas Mwendwa has its work cut out to build non-existent structures below the programme of the beleaguered men’s national team, Harambee Stars.

Suitable dates

The dates for the Under-20 tie with Sudan are April 1-3 for the first leg and April 22-24 for the return. The dates look suitable for Cecafa to run their Under-17 championship which Federation of Uganda Football Associations [FUFA] will be organizing.

Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of Cecafa on Friday allayed fears that the Ugandans were not ready the event. He said: “They [FUFA] are very keen to host the tournament; I am in close touch with their President Moses Magogo.”

Return leg

The new Kenyan season opened with Kenya champions Gor Mahia falling in the first leg of the first round of the [Africa] Champions League. They lost 1-2 to Madagascar’s CNaPS at the National Stadium on Nairobi on Saturday. Gor Mahia incidentally had eliminated CNaPS at the stage last year on the way goal rule after a 3-3 aggregate score. In order that to happen again, Gor must at least score twice without reply in the return. A 2-1 win however would force the tie to be decided on penalties.

The Kenyan Premier League also opened on Saturday the interesting results being the decimated Sofapaka — they lost almost their entire last season’s roster during the transfer window — thrashing Ushuru 3-1 and Kakamega Homeboyz winning the “Western Derby” 2-1 over Western Stima.

Kenyan Premier League:

Results

Saturday February 13:

Kakamega Homeboyz 2-1 Western Stima

Thika United 1-2 Tusker

Sofapaka 3-1 Ushuru

Ulinzi 0-0 Sony Sugar

Twenty four countries will contest the first round of the continental Under-20 Championship and their include three all-Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] region clashes; Rwanda v Uganda; Ethiopia v Somalia and Kenya v Sudan. Curiously not featured are Tanzania but Djibouti and Eritrea are not surprise no-shows. Somalia, however, have shown their renown enthusiasm for international football especially at the age-group level by entering.

The high ranked nation, 16 of them, join in the second round while 13 countries were not represented the draw.

U-20 Africa Youth Championship (2017):

Qualifiers, first round fixtures:

(April 1-3 and April 22-24):

*Rwanda v *Uganda
Tunisia v Niger
*Ethiopia v *Somalia
Liberia v Guinea
Sierra Leone v Gambia
Algeria v Mauritania
*Sudan v *Kenya
*Burundi v DR Congo
Angola v Chad
Mozambique v Mauritius
Swaziland v Namibia
Zimbabwe v Botswana

Teams with a bye in first round:

–          South Africa

–          Benin

–          Burkina Faso

–          Cameroon

–          Congo Brazzaville

–          Cote d’Ivoire

–          Gabon

–          Ghana

–          Egypt

–          Lesotho

–          Libya

–          Mali

–          Morocco

–          Malawi

–          Nigeria

–          Senegal

Teams absent from the tournament:

Tanzania

Eritrea

South Sudan

Madagascar

Seychelles

Comoros

Cape Verde

Sao Tome e Principe

Togo

Equatorial Guinea

Gabon

Guinea Bissau

Central Africa Republic

*Cecafa members