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Several Guest Countries Aim for Involvement in CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

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Prince Jean

Apr 8, 2024


Official Logo of CECAFA. Photo provided by Kenyayote

The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) has officially announced that the 2024 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, set to be hosted by Zanzibar from June 26 to July 14, has garnered interest from several teams outside the region keen on participating in the prestigious tournament. This development marks a significant return for the event, which was last held in Ethiopia in 2021.

Under the leadership of CECAFA President Wallace Karia, Zanzibar was selected as the host for this year's edition, a decision influenced by the substantial advancements in the island's football infrastructure. John Auka Gecheo, CECAFA's Executive Director, disclosed that discussions are underway with the interested guest teams, with a final list of participants expected to be announced by May 2024.

CECAFA officials are scheduled to inspect Zanzibar's sporting facilities later this month, with the New Amaan Complex, Sheikh Abeid Karume Stadium, and Pemba Stadium being the likely venues for the tournament. Gecheo expressed confidence in the event's success, emphasizing its role in aiding teams' preparations for the Africa Nations Championship and the qualifiers for the FIFA 2026 World Cup.

Member associations wishing to enter the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup must remit a participation fee of US$20,000, aimed at ensuring the event's seamless organization. The tournament has historically welcomed guest teams, with nations like Libya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia having previously participated.

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup's return is highly anticipated, especially after the hiatus following Tanzania's victory in the 2021 edition, where they triumphed over Burundi in a penalty shootout (6-5) following a goalless draw in regulation time. Kenya secured the title in 2017, defeating Zanzibar in the final held at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, while Uganda claimed victory in 2019, beating Eritrea 3-0 in the final in Kampala.

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