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FKF submits hefty budget for Rising Stars Cecafa preparations

Thursday January 3 2019

The Kenya Under-17 team prior to their Cecafa Championship semi-final match against Tanzania on April 25, 2018 at Stade Umuco in Muyinga, Burundi. PHOTO | COURTESY |

The Kenya Under-17 team prior to their Cecafa Championship semi-final match against Tanzania on April 25, 2018 at Stade Umuco in Muyinga, Burundi. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

VINCENT OPIYO
By VINCENT OPIYO
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The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) requires around Sh20 million to prepare the national Under-20 team, nicknamed Rising Stars, for the upcoming Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) U20 championships slated for January 14-27 in Uganda.

Nation Sport understands that FKF has already submitted the budget at the Ministry of Sports.

The amount is an approximate of total expenditure on national team engagements around this region.

Kenya will be joined by ten other nations namely Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and neighbours South Sudan at the tourney set to be staged in the towns of Jinja and Gulu.

The Stanley Okumbi-coached side was set to report to camp on Wednesday but FKF put the plans on hold after Cecafa expressed fears of postponing the tournament due to Uganda’s unpreparedness.

“We regret to inform you that Uganda are not ready to host the above tournament as scheduled January 14-27, 2019,” Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye informed the member associations on Tuesday.

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“We've asked Uganda to furnish us with concrete dates that they can be able to host this event,” he added.

The world football governing body, Fifa has sponsored this championship to a tune of Sh50 million.

In an interesting turn of events, the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) on Wednesday published on their portal January 14-27 as kick-off dates for this tourney that returns after eight years.

Uganda’s 31-man provisional squad will report to camp on Friday at the Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru, Jinja.

Uganda, who won the past two editions staged in 2006 and 2010 in Tanzania and Eritrea respectively, has included 18 players from their Under-17 team that won the 2018 Cecafa Zone qualifiers of the 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations qualifiers in Tanzania in August.

Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) Soccer academy coach Jackson Magera has been appointed the first assistant with the vacant head coach position set to be filled later.

When contacted, FKF Media Officer Barry Otieno revealed Kenya’s 36-man provisional squad will report to camp soon whilst affirming Kenya’s readiness to compete at the event.

Six players that stood out during the inaugural edition of the Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 Africa Cup of Nations tournament held in Nakuru last month are among the 36.

“A few of our call ups are school students hence we will have to liaise with the schools and the coach to see how we can get them in camp,” said Otieno.

He added: “If the coach feels he has enough pool of players minus the students then we will let them remain in school as we utilize those who are available.”

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