The President of the Government of Southern Sudan Salva Kirr on Wednesday opened the Cecafa Under-17 championship at a packed Juba Stadium.
The championship was opened simultaneously in Juba and Khartoum, two of three cities that will be hosting the tournament. The third host city is Wadmedani.
Kenya are based in Juba and were due open their campaign against Zanzibar in a Group “B” on Thursday evening while Sudan welcomed Tanzania and Somalia took on guest team Malawi in Group “A fixtures in Khartoum.
The tournament is the first major sporting event of its kind to be held in Southern Sudan and involves 12 nations.
“The decisive decision taken by Cecafa to have Group “A” matches played in Juba came after sending its delegations to visit the Juba Stadium and perusing security situation in the capital.
The move has proven the relentless efforts and the commitment the government of Southern Sudan has exerted in providing security and development,” a statement from the Office of Vice-president, Government of Southern Sudan said about the tournament.
Sudan’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Gabriel Changson Chang also attended the opening ceremony.
Uganda lads, urged on by a sizeable expatriate community from their country, sounded an early warning when they thumped their Ethiopian counterparts 4-0 in the opening match on Tuesday.