African biggies want piece of Cecafa club action

Tuesday May 28 2019

Gor Mahia forward George Odhiambo (left) vies for the ball with Rayon Sports' Kevin Muhire during their Cecafa Kagame Cup Group B match at National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 1, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO |

Gor Mahia forward George Odhiambo (left) vies for the ball with Rayon Sports' Kevin Muhire during their Cecafa Kagame Cup Group B match at National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 1, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Gor Mahia could face African giants Zesco United of Zambia and AS Vita of DR Congo at the 2019 Council for East and Central Africa Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup next month.

The two clubs, together with DC Motema Pembe from DR Congo have formally expressed interest in competing in this tournament as 'guest' teams.

The annual regional club extravaganza will be staged in Kigali and Rubavu, in Rwanda, from July 7 to 21.

"We have met with sponsors Azam TV and the Rwandan government and everything is in place. Following a request from our patron and Rwanda President Paul Kagame, we will also be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Genocide," Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye told Nation Sport Monday.

He added: "Zesco, AS Vita and Motema Pembe want to come (and participate). These are strong teams and their presence will offer our clubs a platform to prepare for next season's Champions League and Confederation Cup."

Cecafa has come under scrutiny for organising this tournament at the same time that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt will be taking place where Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi are taking part.

"We will miss the services of four players who will be on international duty but I am planning to recruit a few players to beef up the squad," said Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier.

Zesco United are not only multiple Zambian champions and Champions League semi-finalists in 2017, but also home to Kenya internationals David Owino, Anthony Akumu and Jesse Were.

AS Vita made it to the final of the Confederation Cup in 2018 whilst Kinshasa-based Motema Pembe are best remembered for that heartbreaking win over Tusker (then referred to as Kenya Breweries) in the final of the 1994 Cup Winners Cup tournament. The winning team will pocket Sh3 million.

2019 Cecafa Club Championships teams:

Azam FC (defending champions), Simba (Tanzania), KCCA (Uganda), Gor Mahia (Kenya), Eagles (Burundi), Rayon Sport, APR, Mukura Victor (Rwanda), AS Vita and Motema Pembe (DRC), Zesco United (Zambia), plus teams from Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan

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