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Darfur set to host this year’s Cecafa Club Championship

Cecafa General Secretary Nicholas Musonye being received at Al Fashir Airport by the State Minister for Finance Dr. Abdu Doad Sulaiman on Friday afternoon. The delegation is in Sudan to access the readiness of the country in hosting this year’s Kagame Cup.

This year’s Cecafa Kagame Club Championship will almost certainly take place in Darfur, Sudan after official inspectors were encouraged by the efforts of the people and facilities at El Fashir City, the biggest in North Darfur State.

Another Sudan State, South Kordofan, also hopes to host some of the group matches. Cecafa [Council of East and Central African Football Associations] officials will visit the city of Kadogly on Tuesday to see whether it is a suitable co-host of the 14-team event.

The council Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye, said in Al Fashir City on Sunday, that Darfur was 90% ready to host the event, but for only two of the three groups.

Two football stadiums in Al Fashir – Al Nuggaa [capacity 10,000] and Al Fashir [15,000] – were of impressive quality and so were hotel accommodation and transport and security capabilities.

“But,” Musonye said, “training pitches are a challenge. The hosts will try and make that better by the time of the event.”

The Sudan Football Association [SFA] administration based in Khartoum has given full support to far-flung states hosting international sport for the first time and there is a whole-hearted dedication by the Governor of North Darfur to pull off a sports hosting quite unprecedented.

Governor Osman Mohamed Yousuf Kibir was out of the country but his deputy, Al Fatih Abdulaziz Abdulnadir assured Cecafa of maximum attention to the championship.

A local organizing committee headed by State Minister for Finance and Civil Services, Dr Abdu Daod, briefed Cecafa official on advanced planning of the tournament.

First impressions about Darfur, a place not open to most of the rest of the world, were of a population that loves sport and football, volleyball and basketball games by ordinary Darfurians and also very present military are played in every corner of Al Fashir.

The enthusiasm and abundant playing space surpasses many other places in East and Central Africa.

Deputy Governor Abdulnadir said peace and security in Darfur long returned to the state after years of strife and that the state was ready to receive visitors.

“We have already hosted a large American delegation in North Darfur and the Federal Government in Khartoum, after observing that, have confidence in our security abilities.”

Cecafa have sent out invitation to all the 12 affiliates to confirm their participants. Musonye said the confirmed guests were Democratic Republic of Congo team St Eloi Lupopo of Lubumbashi.

Cecafa participants will be: Young Africans – (defending champions), Simba (Tanzania Mainland), Zanzibar representatives, El Merriekh, Al Hilal (Sudan),Tusker (Kenya), Express (Uganda), APR (Rwanda), Vital’O (Burundi), Ports (Djibouti), Elman (Somalia), South Sudan representative and St George (Ethiopia). Eritrea have not confirmed an entry.



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