CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup makes triumphant return with new hosts after five-year hiatus

Harambee Stars lifting the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in 2017 Photo ©CECAFA

FOOTBALL CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup makes triumphant return with new hosts after five-year hiatus

Festus Chuma 12:07 - 23.02.2024

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup returns, with the next host announced during the CECAFA General Assembly in Mombasa, Kenya.

Zanzibar has been chosen as the host for the 2024 East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.

The announcement was made by Isayas Jira, the Vice President of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) and Chairman of the Competitions Committee, during the ongoing CECAFA General Assembly at the Pride Inn Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. 

The executive meeting on February 22, 2024, was where the decision was reached, signaling a strategic move to rejuvenate the competition that last took place in 2019 in Uganda.

"We brought back the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup because of marketing issues. We also appointed six members to make changes to our tournaments," said Jira.

Suleiman Mahmoud Jabir, the president of the Zanzibar Football Federation (ZFF), expressed his excitement about the event's comeback, likening the Senior Challenge Cup to a "World Cup" for the region. 

"For us, the Senior Challenge Cup is like a World Cup, and having it back will perhaps help strengthen our teams to even qualify more for AFCON," Jabir stated, highlighting the tournament's potential impact on improving the quality and competitiveness of local teams.

Additionally, Zanzibar has been awarded the rights to host the CAF Africa Schools Football Championship CECAFA Zonal qualifiers, further solidifying its position as a key player in African football. 

Other countries in the region have also been entrusted with hosting responsibilities for various qualifiers, with Uganda set to host the AFCON U-17 Boys CECAFA Zonal qualifiers, Tanzania the AFCON U-20 CECAFA Zonal qualifiers, Ethiopia the CAF Women’s Champions League CECAFA qualifiers, and the CECAFA U-20 Girls Championship.

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