Rwanda men’s senior national football team, Amavubi will know her opponents at the CECAFA Challenge Cup 2017 edition next week following the drawing of lots ceremony scheduled to be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup is slated to kick off on November 25 and will run until December 9, 2017 in Kenya.
The development was confirmed on Wednesday by the CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye while speaking to KT Sports exclusively from Nairobi, Kenya.
He said, “We have assembled all the needed requirements to ensure that this year’s CECAFA Challenge Cup goes on well. The venues are ready and hotels which will the host teams have been earmarked,”
“We are now working on sponsors aside from the government and broadcasters. The government of Kenya will play its role,”
“We expect to hold the drawing of lots ceremony next week on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 such that participating teams start preparing for a serious encounter later this month,” said Musonye.
He further added that that the two-week tournament will be held outside Nairobi with three venues officially earmarked to host the 12-nation tournament.
“We have agreed to stage the tournament across different venues with the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Moi Stadium in Kisumu and Afraha Stadium in Nakuru being the main match venues while Moi International Sports Center Kasarani, Mumias Complex and Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos will act as stand-by venues just in case heavy rains disrupt the tournament in the already earmarked natural grass stadia,”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe and Libya have replaced Eretria and Djibouti in the 12 nation tournament that returns after two years since the 2015 edition that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where record champions Uganda beat Rwanda 1-0 to win the title.
Participating teams with Rwanda inclusive are expected to start arriving from November 22 with Kenya seeking to redeem its image from the last edition it hosted in 2013 where some teams were detained in hotels over unpaid bills.
The teams to participate include; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Libya.
The Cecafa Challenge Cup, Africa’s oldest football tournament, will be the first major sporting event to be held in Kenya following months of political uncertainty that led to cricket, rugby and athletics events being postponed or moved to other countries.
The last time the usually annual Cecafa Challenge Cup was played — in December 2015 — Rwanda lost to Uganda 0-1 in the final.
The prize money structure remains the same with the winner pocketing Rwf. 25.5m (30,000 USD), runner-ups take home Rwf.17m (20,000 USD) while third place will go home with Rwf.8.5m (10,000 USD).