The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) secretary general Nicholas Musonye has urged the government to fund national teams in the region to keep alive their dreams of featuring in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Harambee Starlets are set to participate in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Ghana next month while the men’s national team, Harambee Stars, is on the verge of returning to the continental showpiece.
East African countries led by Burundi, third in Group “C”, neighbours Uganda and Tanzania, both pooled in Group “L” have realistic chances of qualifying for the 24-team competition.
Harambee Stars top Group “F” on seven points with two rounds to spare where a win will all but end a 14-year wait for the coveted competition.
Their chances could be increased should Sierra Leone’s suspension by Fifa remain unresolved by mid next month.
“I’ve said before and I repeat that governments in the region should support sports which is a great unifying factor,” Musonye told Nation Sport on Monday.
“When the Government of Kenya showed commitment for Harambee Stars, you saw the positive response of fans and the players did not disappoint on the pitch (beat Ethiopia 3-0),” he added.
“It is our prayer as Cecafa that governments in this region invest in sports, not only football but all the sports in general.”
Musonye said the regional body is determined to have atleast three teams in Cameroon next year.
“So far I’m satisfied and happy with the performance of Cecafa teams especially Kenya and Uganda,” the former sports journalist concluded.