Malawi are on their way back to Blantyre after exiting the 2011 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage, but their team coach Kinnah Phiri is full of praise for the level of organization by the regional football body.
“The far sightedness and level of organization by the Council for East and Central African Football Associations is really high and it will take football in this region to another level,” said the former Malawian international.
Phiri told the Tanzania Daily News during an exclusive interview that Cecafa has proved more organized than the Southern regional body COSAFA in terms of better organization and the number of tournaments spread across the year.
“Our region has totally gone to sleep together with the Western African side,” explained Phiri.
He said the level of competition among the teams has also improved and this benefits the whole African continent.
“I am very glad to Cecafa that they always invite us for their tournament and this is benefiting us and the other member countries in the Cecafa region as well.
“Our presence has also added some life and level of competition in the tournament and we shall always be grateful if we are invited again for more tournaments in the near future,” said Phiri.
Malawi were beaten 1-0 by hosts and defending champions Tanzania on Tuesday, but had put up good displays in the group stages where they drew against Sudan and Malawi, but defeated the Harambee Stars of Kenya 2-0.
The second guest side in the tournament Zimbabwe (ranked 70 by Fifa) also bowed out at the quarter-final stage when they lost to eleven time record winners Uganda Cranes 1-0.
The Cecafa regional tournament, which has continued to grow in stature, will next year shift to Kenya after the Cecafa General Assembly on November 24 made the selection.
Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said they plan to invite big football playing nations like Nigeria or Ghana for next year’s event.
“Inviting these sides helps us far different levels of competition and this gives our players better exposure and also chance to market themselves since scouts come to watch these games and they are televised live on SuperSport across the continent.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :