Africa: Tanzanian Clubs Stutter in Opening Matches of Cecafa Tournament

The 2012 Cecafa-Kagame Club Cup Championship kicked off over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with home teams Young Africans SC and Simba FC failing to impress in their opening group matches.

Defending Champions Young Africans lost their first game 2-0 to Burundi's Atletico Olympic FC on Saturday. Young Africans' arch- rivals Simba could not fare any better the following day losing by the same margin against Ugandan Tax collectors, URA FC.

Azam FC, the third participant from Tanzania struggled to pick a point against determined Mafunzo FC of Zanzibar in a match played in their own stadium in Chamanzi. The game ended 1-1. Azam will now have to beat Kenyan Champions Tusker FC to qualify for quarter finals from Group 'B'. Cecafa General Secretary Nicholas Musonye hailed the host fans for showing up in big numbers in all matches so far played.

Musonye was also quick to commend the sportsmanship spirit exhibited by the government of Tanzania and the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) in accepting to host and co-fund the region's biggest club championship.

Rwanda President Gen. Paul Kagame paid USD 60.000 to the organizing committee as prize money for the cup winners (USD 30.000), runners up (USD 20.000) and the third best team (USD 10.000). This is the 13th year the Rwandese President is funding this competition with a similar financial contribution.

Action resumes on Tuesday with Atletico taking on APR while El-Salam Wau from the world's newest nation South Sudan plays Young Africans. Both matches will be live on the Super Sport. This is the 38th edition of this annual championship that started in 1974 for clubs in the then three East African states before growing into a giant membership of now 12 countries. Often a top quality guest is invited and this year, Africa champions of 1973, AS Vita Club from DR Congo are main attraction playing in Group 'A'.

Last year's final saw Yanga lift the Cecafa-Kagame Club Cup Championship in an emotional match in which they bitter rivals Simba 1-0.

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