The opening match of the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup’s Group A between Rwanda and hosts Kenya has been shifted from Machakos County to Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County on Sunday, December 2017.
Initially, the Group A crucial encounter was scheduled to be staged at Machakos on Sunday.
However, in today’s press conference held at Kenya Utalii College Grounds, hosts Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said that Kakamega County’s Bukhungu Stadium will be the venue for the Opening Ceremony of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
FKF also announced Kisumu County could yet host some of the competition matches amid social media backlash following the last minute decision to shift Group A matches from the lakeside city to Machakos.
He said, “We are still in discussions to see how Kisumu can host some of the matches, and we will announce the way forward once everything has been concluded,”
The two officials also confirmed the opening ceremony will be in Kakamega on Sunday, with Kenya and Rwanda clashing in the opener.
Both Rwanda and Kenya will later move to Machakos for the rest of the tournament, but will depend on the final venues adjustments.
“Kakamega’s Governor has done a good job. The final will be either at Machakos or Kasarani, depending on some factors we have to consider,” Mwendwa said.
Meanwhile, the CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye denounced the notion that Kisumu is unsafe to host the tournament and took a swipe at Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) for pulling out over such concerns.
“Who says Kisumu is not secure? I’m always there and I’ve seen nothing alarming. Kenyan Premier League matches have been played there the whole season, how many players or fans died?”
“I have told them (Zimbabwe) to withdraw and keep off matters Cecafa. They have enough problems to solve than we have in Kenya.
“They should have told us early if paying for their air tickets was an issue. We are however fine without them and we are ready for the tournament,” Musonye charged.
Zimbabwe withdrew on Wednesday, citing insecurity arising from the current political situation in the country, in the backdrop of ‘resisted’ presidential re-election.
Cecafa Challenge Cup Opener
Sunday, December 3
Kenya vs Rwanda (Kakamega, 1pm Kigali time)
Libya vs Tanzania (Machakos, 3pm Kigali time)