‘Kagame Cup is not dead’ - CECAFA boss explains why Club Championship is facing difficulties

Express FC are the defending champions of the CECAFA Kagame Cup. (Express FC Twitter)

FOOTBALL ‘Kagame Cup is not dead’ - CECAFA boss explains why Club Championship is facing difficulties

Joel Omotto 17:34 - 26.02.2024

CECAFA has given an insight into the difficulties being experienced by its premier club competition Kagame Cup which has not been held since 2021.

Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) has blamed fixture congestion for the absence of the CECAFA Club Championships better known as Kagame Cup.

The tournament has not been held since 2021 when Uganda’s Express FC won it on home soil, raising questions about the future of the regional club competition.

However, CECAFA president Wallace Karia insists the tournament is not dead but facing difficulties due to lack of suitable date to host it since the international calendar is crowded.

“The calendar has been tight, clubs and national teams have had commitments and they are the ones who provide the players for the competition,” Karia said during the CECAFA General Assembly in Mombasa last weekend.

“Teams are in AFCON, CHAN or World Cup qualifiers, they also want to go to preseason so the calendar is tight and it becomes difficult for them to play this competition.

“It is not dead. We need to look at the best way to play Kagame Cup but we will also go back to President [Paul] Kagame and ask him which ways he can support and increase the prize money because our teams are now big and cannot play competitions for little money.”

The tournament’s major challenge is that it has been held between June and August when most teams are either featuring in international competitions or on pre-season ahead of a new campaign.

It therefore becomes difficult to release players for the Kagame Cup and it remains to be seen if CECAFA will find a solution given the lack of openings even in this year’s programme.

Some nations have also opted against hosting it while a number if clubs also pulled their teams out of recent editions, putting more pressure on the organisers over the viability of the tournament.

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