Cecafa Cup to return in December after a year's absence

Uganda's Caeser Okhuti
Uganda's Caeser Okhuti scored the Cranes' winning goal as they beat Rwanda 1-0 in the 2015 Cecafa Cup final.

The Council of East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa) confirmed on Wednesday that its regional Senior Challenge Cup will return this year.

Nicholas Musonye, Cecafa's secretary general, told BBC Sport that the tournament will take place in December.

"I cannot disclose the venue yet since talks are still on-going," Musonye said.

He confirmed that the junior event will precede the main competition.

"We shall also have the Cecafa U-17 tournament first in Burundi in October and the Challenge Cup after," said a confident Musonye.

Uganda Cranes are the defending champions of the Senior Challenge Cup after they defeated Rwanda in the last event held in Ethiopia in 2015.

Musonye explained that after failing to have the tournament last year because of 'politics' amongst Cecafa members, he is determined to get players active this year.

"We want to revive the tournaments for the youth and also make sure we stage the Senior Challenge Cup - which will help our teams for the 2018 Africa Nations Championships prepare better," explained Musonye.

He made it clear that the 12 member nations that make up Cecafa should concentrate on ensuring the region has as many tournaments as possible.

"It is only by having tournaments that our players in the region will get better so that some of them are recognised and are signed to play professional football," he said.

Besides the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, the region last held the Cecafa Kagame Cup (played by league champions in the region) in 2015.

The competition was won by Tanzania's Azam FC when they defeated Gor Mahia FC (Kenya).

Last year the Cecafa Women's Championship took place in Uganda.

In recent weeks, Musonye has said that some members like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are undermining the leadership of Cecafa.

The regional body which is headed by Sudan's Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhtim has 12 members; Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti and Zanzibar.

Top Stories