Thursday, 12 July 2012

CECAFA Club Championships - Can Tusker FC save Kenya's dismal performance?

The biggest club championship tournament in East & Central Africa starts in 2 days in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital. Kenya's representative Tusker FC who are the current KPL leaders and also reigning champs of the same league will be hoping to save the country's dismal performance in regional and continental assignments.
Coincidentally the last time Kenya won this Cup - aptly named Kagame Cup ( as the Rwandan President puts his money where his mouth is...)- Tusker FC were the club, that's 2008. And if their current form is anything to go by, this year they can challenge the Tanzanian clubs , Simba and Yanga FC who played out an all-Tanzanian final last year in the same venue.

But upsetting the form-book will not be easy as the crowds attending Tanzanian matches have seen surging numbers to the tens of thousands and in the case of the two fierce rivals in Simba and Yanga - a crowd that could easily top to a hundred thousand.
The CECAFA Sec-General one Nicholas Musonye- who runs a tight ship - has been able to ensure that the club championships and also the Senior Challenge Cup are not without corporate support and hence not pushed into oblivion. He's the envy of many sports federations many especially in Kenya still struggle to manage their affairs without wrangles and internal fights.
Sadly though, even after trying to be all-inclusive, there are still handicaps where clubs from states such as Eritrea will not make it. This is due to the notoriously tight-fisted regime which makes citizens want to leave the country at the slightest excuse.
All in all the 11-team tournament is bound to keep East & Central African football enthusiasts entertained and rooting for their favourite teams.

Interesting Facts:

  • Kenyan clubs have won the most trophies - 15 ;
  • Kenyan clubs have made to the Finals - 22 times - the highest after Tanzania's 19 times); 
  • AFC Leopards & Tusker FC have each won the Cup - 5 times ( Leopards won it 3 times consecutively 1982,83,84);
  • George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo - a Kenyan striker shall be appearing for Azam FC - a Tanzanian club;
  • Sammy Omollo appeared for Tusker FC (then Kenya Breweries in 1990-92 missing out winning the CUp in 1989);
  • Pres. Paul Kagame will be bankrolling the tournament for the 10th consecutive year to the tune of US$60,000 per tournament for the winner's prize money;


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