Confederation of East and Central Africa (CECAFA) has invited Malawi as well as Zambia and DR Congo to compete at next year’s CECAFA club championship, commonly known as Kagame Cup.
A journalist source in Tanzania confided in Nyasa Times that CECAFA secretary general Nicholas Musonye disclosed this in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday at a function to announce preparations for Friday’s Kagame Cup final between Tanzanian clubs, Simba SC and Azam FC.
The source said Musonye announced that from next year the competition will have 16 teams citing participation from non-CECAFA nations Zambia, DR Congo and Malawi.
“Musonye said the three countries, that is Malawi, Zambia and DR Congo, will each send a team and plans are underway to see the event to be considered on FIFA calendar,” said the source who declined to be mentioned but is a Malawian-born.
“He said they are confident FIFA will accept their proposal due to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s influence in football. He also said that is one way of making the tournament attractive as in recent years it has lost its attraction.
“He, however, could not say which country will host next year’s tournament. He also said they will change dates of the tournament to accomodate teams that are participating in other top events like CAF games.
“He said this in reference to Dar es Salaam’s Young Africans (Yanga), who withdraw from the Kagame Cup, saying they wanted to prepare well for CAF games.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said they were not aware of the invitation but will contact the CECAFA secretariat for official information.
There were 12 teams that competed this year were from Rwanda, Somalia,Sudan, Kenya, Burundi, mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Simba reached the final after beating JKU of Zanzibar 1-0 while Azam beat Gor Mahia of Kenya 2-0.
Kagame Cup prize money is 68 million Tanzania Shillings.
Malawian clubs used to participate in this tournament but withdrew mid 1990s to concentrate on the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA).
CECAFA also has a tournament for the senior national teams in which Malawi also participated and were champions of in 1978, 1979 and 1988.
There have been several occasions of late when CECAFA invited Malawi to participate as guests in the senior category.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :