CECAFA U18 Women's Championship in limbo as Tanzania, Uganda pull out amid another date change

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FOOTBALL CECAFA U18 Women's Championship in limbo as Tanzania, Uganda pull out amid another date change

Joel Omotto 14:25 - 27.06.2023

The fate of the seven-nation tournament hangs in the balance following uncertainty over its commencement date as participating teams start to withdraw.

The fate of the upcoming CECAFA U18 Women's Championship, scheduled to be held in Nairobi, hangs in the balance following news that it has been postponed yet again while Tanzania has withdrawn with Uganda set to follow.

The seven-nation championship, organised by the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), was originally set to commence on June 24, before it was rescheduled to June 29, but two days to the date, Football Kenya Federation says it has been moved yet again, this time to July.

“We just received information that the tournament may be moved to after July 13. We will give a final position on the way forward once we finalise with CECAFA,” FKF CEO Barry Otieno said on Tuesday.

The revelations leave the tournament in limbo even as Kenya’s Junior Starlets remain in camp preparing for it.

Optimism is growing thinner by the day as besides the changing dates, only five teams remain committed so far, after Tanzania withdrew with Uganda said to be contemplating pulling out over a lack of proper communication from CECAFA.

"We dismissed the students to go back to school,” Tanzania coach Bakari Shime said.

“We received information from CECAFA through our General Secretary that the competition has been postponed till an unknown date. We had no choice but to release the students," he added.

For Uganda, a squad of 35 players, most of whom were part of the U17 team that played in the FIFA U17 World Cup qualifiers last year, started preparations two weeks ago under head coach Ayub Khalifah but Pulse Sports understands they have been dismissed from camp.

“If they move it, a lot of countries will withdraw. July 13 is tricky for most countries with exams and school games,” added Otieno, expressing his concerns over the changing dates.

Hosts Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and Zanzibar had all confirmed their participation in the championship.