After the successful CECAFA Senior challenge cup in Kenya last year, there seem to be an instant interest from regional members to stage the six events lined up for this year. The scramble is so fierce that it is hard to tell how the Secretariat will handle the demand.
The matter is further complicated by USD one million that FIFA is channeling to the zone to organize women and youth Competitions every year and the deal struck by CECAFA to engage Azam TV as their broadcast partners for the next three years .
CECAFA is the most successful regional grouping in Africa virtue of its ability to stage competitions. The region is also known for its ability to organize elections according to their statutes.
For the first time in many years, Kenya hosted a credible CECAFA tournament when the challenge cup ran flawlessly and ended without a hitch in December. All suppliers were paid by CECAFA and FKF and even the Harambee stars players got their dues as promised.
Nicholas Musonye, the long serving secretary General of CECAFA told Nation sport that despite moving matches in three venues- Machakos, Kakamega and Kisumu, the event ran smoothly adding that it was a good idea for people in the regions to watch top regional stars.
Last week, Musonye visited Burundi who are hosting the under 17 CECAFA tournament in April.
‘I was shocked with the stadia I saw in the regions in Burundi. This is what I recommend other CECAFA members to do. There are several small standard stadia in Burundi that are really amazing .
Musonye who had an opportunity to meet the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza in Ngozi region in the North said Burundi has what It takes to host any CECAFA competition.
“The President is passionate about soccer. He has built a beautiful 10,000 seater stadium in Ngozi and another 6,000 capacity in Muyinga. He is personally supervising another one for about 10,000 capacity in Gitega.
“Bring CECEFA to Burundi and see how the stadia will fill. I also request you to give us Senior Challenge cup next year. We are ready for you” Nkurunziza told the Secretary General.
Before he left Bujumbura, the Burundi FA had already written a letter to CECAFA confirming their bid for Challenge cup in 2019.