The New Times (Kigali)

5 December 2012

Rwanda/Kenya: Rwanda, Kenya Bid to Host 2013 Cecafa Cup

RWANDA is committed to hosting the 2013 Cecafa Challenge Cup, according to the Edward Kalisa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

Speaking to Times Sport, Kalisa said, "We are yet to know the requirements needed to host the event. Once we hold talks with Ferwafa and review the requirements, then we will be able to have a final say on our chances."

"But for sure, we are positive on Rwanda hosting the regional championship," added Kalisa.

Rwanda is locked in a battle with Kenya over the hosting of the 2013 Cecafa Senior Challenge.

A decision will be made in March next year on the sidelines of the Caf Congress in Morocco when Rwanda and Kenya will make their final pitches for the hosting rights that have now apparently become competitive.

Ferwafa chairman Celestin Ntagungira said Rwanda would be able to announce the name of a Challenge Cup sponsor "within two weeks" of being chosen as hosts.

Football Kenya Federation chairman Sam Nyamweya has said Kenya already has a sponsor in case the competition is staged in the country.

Rwanda has played host to the Africa Under-17 and U-20 competitions before, a feat unequalled in the region.

According to Cecafa Secretary-General Nicholas Musonye, Rwanda has left no doubt that it has the personnel, infrastructure and ability to challenge for a major African tournament.

Until five years ago, Rwanda only had Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali to talk of. Nyamirambo Regional Stadium and Umuganda stadium were then refurbished for the U-20 finals in 2009.

Two new stadiums in Muhanga and Huye are also under construction to boost the country's position as a possible host to major tournaments.

Rwanda has also improved on its hotel capacity with a couple of five-star hotels in place or coming up in both Kigali and Rubavu.

Musonye believes this is the way forward. "I keep on telling the Cecafa member states that nothing comes on a silver platter, the respective governments must also show commitment in helping improve football infrastructure and I am happy with what Rwanda has done over the past few years,"

"Hosting the youth championships in 2007 and 2009 definitely put them on the right pedestal for bigger things," added Musonye.

Rwanda has hosted the regional tournament twice - in 1999 and 2005.

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