21 April 2017

Africa: Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

Photo: JB Ssenkubuge/Daily Monitor
Common goal. L-R: Zanzibar’s Ravia Faina, Nicholas Mwendwa (Kenya) Ndikuniyo Reverien (Burundi), Moses Magogo (Uganda), Juneidi Tilmo (Ethiopia), Vincent Nzamwita (Rwanda) and Jamal Malinzi (Tanzania) at FUFA House shortly before the meeting.

Kampala — The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) is in slumber as club and national teams' tournaments are no longer a certainty.

It's near dead-phase for a region that boasts the oldest tournament in Africa, the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup that started as the Gossage Cup between Kenya and Uganda in 1926.

Twice in the past three years, the region's flagship event hasn't been held due to lack of willing hosts or sponsors. Kenya pulled the plug on hosting the 2016 edition.

In the same breath, it's two years since the Cecafa Kagame Cup, the clubs' equivalent, was last held.

With regional football running on anaesthetics, Cecafa presidents met here this week and sought to shoot for the stars - bid to host the biennial Africa Cup of Nations.

The resolution is one of nine contained in a communiqué, circulated via the Fufa website, www.fufa.co.ug, following a meeting hosted by Fufa president Moses Magogo.

Rwanda's Vincent Nzamwita, Jamal Malinzi (Tanzania), Juneidi Tilmo (Ethiopia), Nicolas Mwendwa (Kenya) and Hon. Ndikuniyo Reverien (Burundi) attended.

Continental body Caf's newly approved member nation Zanzibar was represented by Ravia Faina.

South Sudan, Sudan and Djibouti missed the meeting with an apology, according to Fufa.

In February, following Uganda's first Afcon appearance in 39 years, Magogo told a media briefing that Fufa were to "engage government to host Afcon in 2025" in order to build on that success.

It's an ambitious resolution as this region has only hosted the Afcon five regions since its inception in 1957.

Sudan (1957 and 1970) Ethiopia (1962, 1968 and 1976) have managed to bring the continent to the regions before.

Lately, Rwanda did host the 2016 Africa Nations Championships (Chan), a tournament that brings together only home-based played on the continent.

"This brain storming meeting has been organised to discuss about the current and future state of the Cecafa football," Magogo said.

Besides resolving to "submit an official bid to host the Africa Nations Cup finals in the near future," the presidents also want to amend the Cecafa constitution and build a permanent headquarters for the body.

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