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Musonye slams clubs 'undermining' Cecafa events

Saturday July 20 2019

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye (right) and Azam TV media officer Mdagano Faradhallah during a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda on July 20, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye (right) and Azam TV media officer Mdagano Faradhallah during a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda on July 20, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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IN KIGALI

Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye has hit out at teams he claims are undermining competitions organised by the regional body.

The veteran football administrator spoke on Saturday at a press briefing in Kigali, where he also outlined the preparations ahead of Sunday's Cecafa Kagame Cup final pitting Uganda's Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and Tanzania's Azam.

In an apparent reference to Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay and Tanzanian clubs Simba SC and Yanga, Musonye also stressed the need for federations in the region to work together and compete in as many competitions as a way of improving the standards of the game.

Clubs from Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi and Eritrea have also developed a habit of shunning Cecafa competitions and the tournament organisers have opted to replace them with guest teams.

"Our teams (from the Cecafa region) did not perform very well at the (just concluded) Africa Cup of Nations and that's because we do not prepare well, play enough games. We lack ambition," said Musonye.

"I have heard coaches from our region proudly say they were satisfied to just qualify for the Nations Cup in Egypt after failing to do so for many years. That is a lack of ambition because we also saw what minnows such as Benin and Madagascar achieved. Now that we have a chance to try again and contest to qualify for the next edition in 2021. I urge all Cecafa member countries, and especially Ethiopia, Rwanda and Sudan in particular to try and qualify this time round."

Oktay was recently quoted by sections of the media suggesting he only used this club championship as part of his pre-season preparations.

Similarly, top Tanzanian clubs Simba and Yanga opted out of this competition due to "other commitments."

"We have witnessed good football here in Rwanda. Some coaches failed to perform and came up with excuses. Some clubs opted out but we still had a full house as 16 clubs turned up. We did not miss them."

Musonye also announced a calendar change of events, where next year's Senior Challenge Cup tournament involving national teams and the club championships will be held in June and July 2020, respectively.

This year, Cecafa will also organise an U-15 boys championship in Eritrea next month, U-20 men tournament in Uganda come October, plus the Senior Challenge Cup involving senior national teams in Kampala in December.

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