New stadium to host Kagame Cup matches

The government has allowed the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) to stage some of the Kagame Cup matches at the newly built 60,000-seater ultra-modern stadium.

Cecafa President Leodegar Tenga said yesterday that the Ministry for Information, Culture and Sports had allowed the stadium to host the matches that would involve Tanzania teams – Yanga and Simba.

He said Simba would start using the ground tomorrow when they play Tusker of Kenya in the opening match while Yanga will use the ground on Sunday against defending champions APR of Rwanda.

He said the stadium would again be used in the quarter, semi and final stages only if Tanzania teams would qualify.

Tenga congratulated the government on allowing the council to use the ground which was earlier meant to host Taifa Stars` 2010 World Cup -cum-African Nation Cup qualifiers.

The remaining matches will be played at the National Stadium.

The championship is sponsored by Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Castle Lager.

The teams have been placed into three groups – A, B and C.

Group A has Simba (Tanzania), Tusker (Kenya), Vital`O (Burundi) and Benadir (Somalia).

URA (Uganda), Rayon (Rwanda) and Awasa (Ethiopia) are in Group B. Group C has Yanga (Tanzania), APR (Rwanda) and Miembeni (Zanzibar).

Meanwhile, just one day before the 35th edition of Kagame Cup kicks off URA FC, are yet to name their skipper.

Coach Moses Basena said that he will resolve the issue a day before their first match against Rayon Sport of Rwanda on Monday.

“I have several options in mind. I will name one in Tanzania after analysing each player`s strength and weakness,“ he said before the team departed yesterday.

A contingent of 21 players and eight officials were yesterday expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam.

Basena was optimistic his team will do better than last year.

They were beaten by APR of Rwanda 2-1 at the finals at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.

“I am satisfied with the team’s current form and experience. These two aspects are fundamental in winning such tournaments. But the uncertainty over the transfer of our new players has affected our coordination,“ the former SC Villa and Simba tactician explained.

URA have recruited Cranes goalkeeper Abel Dhaira from Express, defender Joseph Owino from Villa and midfielder Jackson Ssennabulya from army side Simba FC.

Basena`s other puzzle lies in the choice between goalkeepers Dhaira and Mulindwa Muwonge.

“Mulindwa has more experience in CECAFA, yet Dhaira had a relatively good form in Confederation Cup engagements last season. I can’t give my verdict now,“ he stated.

Basena played for Villa when they were beaten 2-1 by Yanga in 1993, and was the Jogoos coach in 2002 when they were eliminated by Prince Louis (Burundi) in the semi-finals.

He wants to be the second Ugandan, after Sam Timbe, to win the cup on foreign soil.

Timbe won it with Villa (2005) and Police in 2006. KCC (1978), SC Villa (1987, 2003, 2005) are the only other Ugandan teams to have won the event.

Kagame Cup was renamed in 2002 after Rwandan President, Gen. Paul Kagame who sponsors it.

Winners earn $30,000, second $20,000 and the third-placed team takes home $10,000.

  • SOURCE: Guardian