Voice of Sport

Tourney in Zambia where Kenya shamed themselves by fielding illegal players in qualifiers

Sudan only Cecafa nation flying flag at CAF Under-20 Cup of Nations championship that is thrilling packed crowds at modern stadia in Lusaka and Ndola


2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations

Lusaka: National Heroes Stadium (60,000)

Ndola: Levy Mwanawasa Stadium (40,000)

Cecafa region:

Team:  Sudan, pool ‘B’ – Results so far; 1-1 v Senegal; 1-4 v Cameroon;  v South Africa (March 5)

Officials:

Referees:

Thierry Nkurunziza (Burundi)

Louis Hakizimana (Rwanda)

Assistant referees:

– Gilbert Cheruiyot (Kenya)

– Mark Ssonko (Uganda)

SUDAN must beat South Africa in Lusaka on Sunday to qualify for the knock-out stage of the ongoing CAF [African Football Confederation] Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations men’s football tournament in Zambia.

Almost as a ‘given’, yet again, Kenya are not at this high stage of international football. In April 2016 its team was disqualified after fielding five over-age players in the first round, first leg of the qualifiers against Sudan.

Opening game

The only Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] member nation in the competition Sudan would fancy succeeding because South Africa are also struggling. The South Africans were beaten 4-3 by a Senegal team that Sudan held 1-1 in their opening game and despite conceding an early penalty.

Senegal head the pool, “B”, with four points after a win and a draw and play their last match on Sunday against the second placed Cameroon who have three. Sudan and South Africa will be hoping for a win in this tie, provided either of them, South Africa or Sudan also clinch the maximum point in their match to sneak into the semi-finals.

Border

This an eight-team tournament and Pool ‘A’ has the hosts leading with a maximum six points after defeat of  Guinea (1-0) and a 6-1 rout of Mali. The spanking performance of the home team has meant a very well followed event at two fantastic modern venues in the capital, Lusaka (National Heroes Stadium – 60,000) and at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium — 40,000 in the Copperbelt city of Ndola, 300km north of Lusaka and on the border with Congo [Kinshasa].

This is the 14th edition of the tournament and Egypt, champions in 1991, 2003 and 2013 and Cameroon (1995) are the only past title holders that qualified this time. And for example, Nigeria, winners of last edition (2015) in Senegal did not qualify.

First round

The qualifiers to the current tournament was another exposure of the often shameful management of Kenyan football. The Kenya team were in April 2016 disqualified after fielding five over-age players (Erick Ouma Otieno, Nicholas Kipkirui, Boniface Muchiri, Eugene Moses Mukangula and Theodore Kibet Kilele) in the first round, first leg, and drawn 1-1 against Sudan.

Uganda were also  disqualified at the same stage against Rwanda – and despite a 1-1, 2-1 (3-2 aggregate win) after fielding a player (James Aheebwa) whose date of birth on his passport was different to the date of birth on his CAF Inter-Clubs license, an occurrence prohibited within CAF regulations.

Other Cecafa region teams’ qualifying results:

First round:

  • Ethiopia 4-1 Somalia (2-1, 2-0)
  • Burundi w/o Congo Kinshasa

Second round:

  • Ethiopia 2-5 Ghana (2-1, 0-4)
  • Sudan w/o Malawi
  • Burundi 1-3 Nigeria (0-1, 1-2)
  • Rwanda 1-1, 2-3 pen Egypt (0-1, 1-0)

Third round:

  • Sudan 5-5 (away goal rule) Nigeria 1-2, 4-3

-Additional reporting by Agencies