2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup: December 7- 19 2019
The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup is the oldest tournament on the continent. Although it was meant to be held on an annual basis since its inception in 1926, it has suffered uncertainties that have led to its inconsistency.
Citing the most recent occurrences, in 2014, the would be 38th edition that was scheduled for November 29 to December 9 in Ethiopia did not take place due to host’s pulling out in October. Then, Ethiopia cited domestic and international engagements.
Nicholas Musonye, the General Secretary was forced to announce Sudan as the new hosts who also pulled out two days before kickoff.
Similarly, the 39th edition did not take place in 2016 after Kenya opting out of hosting two days to the tournament. The excuse then was that they were not prepared enough. The tournament was pushed to December as Musonye bought time to convince Sudan to host. It was eventually called off.
The last edition was in 2017 in Kenya.
The Harambee Stars also lifted it for the seventh time becoming the second most successful country in the region behind Uganda at 14.
Hopes this year are high because the hosts (Uganda) have been loyal for the region having hosted 23 editions of the 39 and have never disappointingly pulled out. But worries still stand over facilities especially the playing surface.
In 2012 when Uganda hosted the tournament, the Cranes defeated the Harambee Stars 2-1 in a ‘potato field’ like Mandela National Stadium due to heavy rains. Emmanuel Okwi and Geoffrey Baba Kizito goals scored the goals on the night as Cranes lifted a 13th title.
The situation might just be same again if these matches are not evenly distributed in play grounds across the country.
Already, poor stadium conditions have led to rescheduling of several league matches.
This is why KCCA FC, SC Villa and Proline FC players join the Cranes camp on December 3 after their first round league matches, almost one week after their teammates start training on Wednesday, November 27.
The Cranes head coach, Jonathan Mckinstry named only locally based players whose performance shall ease his work while selecting Ugandan CHAN representatives.
Amongst the squad is the Star Times Uganda Premier League top scorer Steven Mukwala and senior team debutants Fahad Bayo and Allan Okello. Also named is teenage goalkeeper Jack Komakech, a member of the Uganda U-17 team. He joins experienced keepers Charles Lukwago, James Alitho, Joel Mutakubwa and Saidi Keni.
The full provisional Squad
|Komakech||Jack||Football for Good|
|Ssenyonjo||Hassan||Wakiso Giants FC|
|Ntambi||Kirizestom||Wakiso Giants FC|
|Ssekajjugo||Vianne||Wakiso Giants FC|
|Madondo||Joel||Busoga United FC|
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