- KCCA manager Mike Mutebi thinks otherwise; “Bandari is not a weak team. Azam are the defending champions and won before (in 2015).
Kampala. That Uganda Cranes is only side that progressed out of the Afcon group stages amongst the four Cecafa nations – Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya that went to Egypt is a big testament of their emergent dominance in the region.
As the Cecafa tourney begins today in Rwanda, all eyes will be on league champions KCCA and Uganda Cup winners Proline that will represent Uganda to see how far they can go at the championship that recorded the highest number of attendance – 13 clubs.
Like the case was in 2015, KCCA will face reigning champions Azam in the group stage, ostensibly their biggest hurdle, with Rwanda side Mukura and Bandari (Kenya) expected to provide a slighter challenge.
KCCA manager Mike Mutebi thinks otherwise; “Bandari is not a weak team. Azam are the defending champions and won before (in 2015).
“All the teams in this year’s tournament are big teams like TP Mazembe. Everyone has a chance because the magnitude of the tourney is high,” he told Score before the team left by bus to Butare, Rwanda on Wednesday evening.
The absence of three of their Afcon stars; Allan Kyambadde, Timothy Awany and Patrick Kaddu may not be entirely felt since they have taken a balanced team that has the experience of Muzamir Mutyaba, Sulaiman Mutyaba, Charles Lukwago, Gift Ali and Sadam Juma and the youth of Allan Okello, Samuel Kato and Sadat Anaku. The 1978 winners will have to contend with title favourites TP Mazembe, Gor Mahia, APR and Azam if they are to have a sniff of the trophy after 41 years wait.
Proline under no duress
For Proline coach Shafiq Bisaso to think of winning the Cecafa after the Uganda Cup and Fufa Big League triumph would be dreaming large. He says his side is in it to ‘enjoy’ and prepare the team for their league and continental challenge next season. He didn’t read much into the 5-1 humbling by KCCA on Wednesday but rather stayed focus on upsetting Group C opposition; APR, Green Buffaloes and Heegan to storm the quarterfinals.
The winner is set to win $30,000 (Shs112m) in prize money while runners up will receive $20,000 (Shs74.9m) and $10,000 (Shs37m) for the third placed team.
Group A: Rayon Sport, TP Mazembe, KMC and AtlabaraUganda
Group B: Azam, Mukura, Bandari and KCCA
Group C: APR, Proline, Green Buffaloes and Heegan
Group D: Gor Mahia, Motema Pembe, KMKM and AS Ports
KCCA CECAFA fixtures
July 7; Bandari vs KCCA, 1:00pm, Huye Stadium
July 9; KCCA vs Azam, 3:00pm, Huye Stadium
July 12; KCCA vs Mukura, 6:00pm, Huye Stadium
Proline Cecafa fixtures
July 6; APR vs Proline, 4:00pm, Kigali Stadium
July 8; Proline vs Heegan, 1:00pm, Kigali Stadium
July 11; Proline vs Green Eagles, 1:30pm, Kigali Stadium