By Fred Maingi
Eight countries have so far confirmed their participation in the forthcoming regional Cecafa senior Challenge Cup slated for next month in Uganda.
The Counties include Rwanda,Tanzania,Zanzibar,Ethiopia,Somalia,Djibouti,South Sudan and hosts Uganda.
Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye said six other countries have asked to be included in the tourney and warned Kenya to stop fuelling confusion.
The countries that are currently on standby include Zambia,Zimbabwe, Cote D’ivoire,DRC Congo and Cameroon
He made a rallying call to all Cecafa member states to stand firm and help the regional soccer body achieve the desired growth.
At a press briefing held at the Cecafa secretariat offices in Nairobi on Thursday afternoon, Musonye said that he was merely a custodian of the organization, executing his duties on behalf of the member states and it was incumbent upon the member states to support the forthcoming tournament scheduled to take place in Kampala Uganda.
‘’Cecafa is not a Musonye company, it belongs to all the 12 members states. If some want to sabotage it, it’s their own problem. I am only a custodian’’
The Cecafa boss also added that the stage is already set for the annual event with eight countries having confirmed their participation. The confirmation deadline lapses on October 8.
Among the teams that have already confirmed their participation include newcomers South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Somali and hosts Uganda.
Musonye revealed that he is already in talks with CAF over the possibility of pushing forward the CHAN-championships dates to give room to member countries to participate in the tournament.
He warned that any member state that fails to honour the competition must have good reasons.
Kenya is scheduled to begin their CHAN campaign against Burundi away on December 1st with a return leg due in Nairobi two weeks later.
Regarding the recent furore that has raised a cloud of storm over the hosting venue, Musonye said that they had proper reasons why the venue was changed.
‘’This is not the first time we are changing the venue. It has happened in the past. Rwanda was supposed to host this year’s tournament but we explained to them and they understood. Why then the current noise?’’
Kenya’s soccer federation FKF has been at loggerheads with the regional soccer body with FKF crying foul that it had been denied the hosting rights.
Musonye added that all was in place for the kick off as Ugandan soccer federation Fufa had put all measures in place, urging teams to prepare adequately for the tourney.
‘’Cecafa has been run for long through order and discipline. We do not want unnecessary noise and indiscipline in this tournament.’’he said.
The tough talking Musonye also added that he will not sit back and watch the tournaments growth being hampered by squabbles.
‘’Any form of indiscipline, defiance will not be tolerated. We want this tournament to grow .Right now we have Supersport on board and countries should take advantage of this to prepare their teams well as it gives players good exposure’’