Kenya: New Date for Cecafa Women's Champions League Qualifiers

The Caf women's Champions League qualifiers for the Council of East and Central Africa (Cecafa) region will run from August 7 to August 21.

The qualifying tournament that will involve 11 countries had earlier been scheduled for July 17 to August 1, but was later postponed due to financial constraints.

"The financial challenges for holding the tournament have been settled and now we are ready to resume our planned schedule. We hope the players are ready as well because we want women's football to continue for the rest of the year without anymore hiccups," said Auka Gacheo, Cecafa Secretary General.

Before the event was postponed, former Kenya Women's Premier League champions Vihiga Queens, who will be representing the country in the competition, had pitched camp for two weeks.

The western Kenya-based team was selected by FKF after winning the 2019 season for the third season in a row.

However, they finished at position three in the play-offs for the 2020/21 season after losing 5-3 on post-match penalties to Gaspo Women in the semi-final stage.

Vihiga Queens head coach Alex Alumira is delighted by the return of the competition and is confident that his players will do well. The team is likely to start residential training on August 2.

"The new dates come as a blessing in disguise because we can now prepare ourselves mentally having already rested for almost three weeks after the local league. So I am happy, my players are well rested and those who had injuries have already healed, all we have to do is show up and win," he told Nation Sport via a phone interview from Vihiga.

Vihiga Queens are in Pool 'C' and will play Scandinavian (Rwanda) and FAD Djibouti in the regional tournament.

Their first match is against FAD Djibouti.

The winner of the tournament will represent the Cecafa region in the Caf Women Champions League proper set for November in Cairo, Egypt.

The 2021 Caf Women's Champions League finals will be graced by seven teams which qualify through zonal tournaments such as Cecafa.

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