Kimanzi set to name Stars squad on Sunday

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi issues instructins during training at Moi international sports centre Kasarani. The team is preparing for the senior challenge cup to be held in Uganda from 31st December. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

  • Team is preparing for Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup to be held in Uganda

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi will name his final squad on Sunday, a day before the team leaves for Kampala for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, which starts on Wednesday.

Three Tusker players — Joseph Njuguna, Jockins Atudo and Christopher Litwsa — missed yesterday’s training session.

The Tusker players were, however, expected to join the others later yesterday after the conclusion of the Tusker Cup in Tanzania, where their side were beaten by Mtibwa Sugar 2-1 in the semi-finals.

Kenya has been pooled in group ‘B’ together with giants Zambia, Sudan, Burundi and Djibouti and will be based in Jinja. The team leaves tomorrow for Entebee.

Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) secretary, Nicholas Musonye, said that all arrangements had been finalised.

Kenya has lifted the regional silverware five times. Uganda have won it nine times.

This year’s Cecafa tournament will feature 11 teams. Ethiopia, suspended by Fifa, and Eritrea will not take part.

Two-time champions Zambia were invited as a guest team.

Pool ‘A’ has hosts Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar and Somalia.

A technical meeting will be held on Tuesday in Kampala where the rules and player registration will be done. The teams will then leave for their respective bases ahead of the tournament kick-off a day later.

Harambee Stars start their campaign against Sudan before meeting Zambia, Djibouti and Burundi.

The top two teams from each group will then proceed to the semi-finals.

Sponsors, pay television station GTV, have put aside $60,000 for the top three teams.

The winner will take home Sh2.3 million, runners up will get Sh1.6 million while the play-off winners will take home Sh780,000.Kenya last won the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in 2002.

A serious Harambee Stars approach in the tournament is expected because the team is preparing for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers which begin next March.

Sudan and Rwanda are also in the World Cup second phase and will use the event as a build-up.

Meanwhile, Musonye confirmed that two referees from Kenya have been cleared to officiate in the tournament.

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