The Council for East and Central Football Associations-Cecafa has confirmed the participation of DRC’s St. Eloi Lupopo in this year’s Kagame Club Championships scheduled for next month. Nicholas Musonye, the Cecafa Secretary General says St. Eloi Lupopo has already confirmed participation while a team from Eritrea is yet to confirm. Musonye also confirmed that the once troubled Dafur state in Sudan will host the event. Musonye says Darfur is 90% ready to host the event.
He explained that Al Nuggaa and Al Fashir stadium with a seating capacity of 15,000 and 45,000 respectively that have been selected to host the championship, are of impressive and so are the hotel and transport. He said they switched the tournament from Addis Ababa to Sudan because Ethiopia was not ready to host the tournament. He said they will announce other developments on venues and issues pertaining the tournament on Tuesday. Darfur is an independent sultanate for several hundred years and was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916.
The area has been faced with a civil war since 2003, although the situation is calm. The tournament expected to take place after June 15 will attract League winners in the 12 member nations in the region. Tanzania’s Young Africans are the defending champions after winning the title in 2012 when they beat local rivals Azam FC in the final in Dar es Salaam. Rwanda President Paul Kagame has been sponsoring the tournament to a tune of US$60,000 in prize money since 2001. Cecafa participants will be: Young Africans – (defending champions), Simba (Tanzania Mainland), Zanzibar representatives, El Merriekh, Al Hilal (Sudan), Tusker (Kenya), Express (Uganda), APR (Rwanda), Vital’O (Burundi), Ports (Djibouti), Elman (Somalia), South Sudan representatives and St George (Ethiopia).
Eritrea has not confirmed an entry.