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KCCA pick second Cecafa title as Kenyan clubs stumble

Monday July 22 2019

Kampala City Capital Authority (KCCA) players celebrate after winning the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup at the Stade Kigali in Nyamirambo on July 21, 2019. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT

Kampala City Capital Authority (KCCA) players celebrate after winning the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup at the Stade Kigali in Nyamirambo on July 21, 2019. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT 

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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IN KIGALI, RWANDA

Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) were on Sunday deservedly crowned the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Kagame Cup champions after a 1-0 win over Tanzania's Azam as this two week competition drew to a close at the Stade Kigali.

Ultimately, the Ugandan champions proved the best of the 16 clubs competing in this tournament which also offered several lessons for Kenyan stakeholders.

KCCA won in all its seven engagements at this tournament bar one - versus Kenya's Bandari at the Huye Stadium - which ended 1-1 during the opening stages of this competition.

The wins were recorded against hosts Mukura Victory and Rayon Sport, plus twice against defending champions Azam, and another over Zambia's Green Eagles in extra time.

"It was a befitting success after a long spell of hard work behind the scenes," explained KCCA coach Mike Mutebi.

"The next task is to transfer this confidence to our upcoming engagements and especially the Caf Champions League."

Nineteen-year-old attacker Allan Okello, playmaker Mike Mutyaba, left full back Mustafa Kiiza and goalkeeper Charles Lukwago are among the players who stood out for KCCA in this tournament.

Kenyan clubs Bandari and Gor Mahia also competed in this championship but failed to impress.

Bandari, which won the domestic cup (SportPesa Shield) and also finished second in the Kenyan Premier League, failed to get out of its group after drawing in all its three engagements versus Mukura Victory, Azam and KCCA.

Gor beat DR Congo's As Maniema, Djibouti's AS Port and Zanzibar's KMKM but then lost to Zambia's Green Eagles in the semis.

There were also upsets recorded along the way, with African bigwigs TP Mazembe losing to Rayon Sport and Azam.

Outside the pitch, this annual tournament proved a success with the regional football body handing 400 footballers from eight African countries an opportunity to showcase their talents and compete for Sh6 million in prize money.

"We rarely have challenges when staging matches here in Rwanda and this was no different. The Rwandan government values sports which is an important matter and how I wish this spirit would be replicated among our other member nations," explained outgoing Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye.

And then, Rwanda proved the best host, providing funds, accommodation and support in logistics including transport and infrastructure.

On a day Deputy President William Ruto was put to task over the pledge to build stadiums, Rwanda showcased its infrastructure with games taking part in ultra modern stadiums in Kigali, Rubavu and Huye.

Kenya currently has only one stadium - located in Kasarani - which is fit to host international football matches.

President Paul Kagame's administration is also constructing an ultra modern indoor gymnasium at Amahoro suburb in Kigali which when completed later this year will stage international indoor volleyball and basketball matches.

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