- Soccer. Record holders Uganda Cranes are in line to defend their title at this 12-nation annual regional football tournament, that also has attracted Libya and Zimbabwe as guest teams.
Nairobi: Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations secretary general Nicholas Musonye has no qualms about Kenya’s capacity to host the 39th edition of the Senior Challenge Cup later this month.
This despite security concerns currently dogging the country owing to a five month-long political stand-off between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Cecafa president Mutasim Gafaar recently stated the regional body has a ‘plan B’ in place in the event the security situation in Kenya deteriorates. He spoke amid consistent protests called by Odinga in major cities to challenge President Kenyatta’s victory in the repeat October 26 elections.
“I don’t foresee any security challenges during the tournament,” Musonye declared at a press briefing in Nairobi yesterday.
“Infact, you will be surprised to see both (the ruling) Jubilee and (opposition) Nasa supporters cheering on teams at the stadiums. Football has always been a unifying factor.”
Also present at the briefing was Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa and the tournament’s Local organizing tournament head Herbert Mwachiro.
Mwendwa said: “We are promising a credible tournament with beefed up security. We have the assurance of government who have also undertaken to fund a portion of the budget.”
Record holders Uganda Cranes are in line to defend their title at this 12-nation annual regional football tournament, that also has attracted Libya and Zimbabwe as guest teams.
The hosts, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi, plus Zanzibar and South Sudan among others, have also confirmed participation.
If all goes according to script, the games will be staged over two weeks starting November 25 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu City, Afraha stadium in Nakuru, the renovated Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega and at the Mumias Sports Complex.
The 60,000 seater Kasarani stadium in Nairobi plus the Kenyatta stadium in Machakos are on standby to host some of the matches, in the event the unpredictable weather and political situation gets out of hand in the aforementioned areas, most of which are perceived opposition strongholds.
The tournament sponsors will be unveiled next week.