Dilemma ahead of CECAFA Congress with Musonye looming exit

As the Council of East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) readies for elections in the 2019 Congress set for Wednesday afternoon in Kampala, uncertainty has engulfed the zonal football body on the impending exit of Secretary General Nicholas Musonye.

Musonye, who has been at the helm for 20 years, had said he would not contest for CECAFA leadership again with elections set to usher new structure in accordance with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) regulations.

Citizen Digital however understands the SG is however being courted by a number of delegates to be part of the new structure, which provides for an Executive Director, a president, two vice presidents and an Executive Committee.

“There are questions about his (Musonye) exit as a lot of issues including where the secretariat will be based are being contended upon. He would want it to remain in Nairobi, Kenya but a section of the members want it moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“There are yet to be fixed issues although there were some gentlemen agreements on how to distribute the posts before, which causes some confusion ahead of the congress,” an official told on condition of anonymity.

Although the positions distribution done on “gentlemen agreement” is a top secret among the members, an official in Kampala has intimated an interested Kenyan is poised to take the Executive Director role while Tanzania’s FA president Wallace Karia is primed for the presidency.

The federation bosses within CECAFA sitting in the CAF Exco, Eng. Moses Magogo of Uganda and Djibouti’s Hassan Waberi are however not eligible for the elective posts.

“Football is in my blood. I have labored for long to see the sport develop especially in this region. Whether I’m in CECAFA leadership or not, football is in my heart. My wish and desire that I’m so much committed to is CECAFA remains cohesive and grows even after today,” said Musonye, who was coy to discuss explicitly about the said consensus before the congress.

He continued: “When you have worked as we have done, especially during difficult times when member federations have been struggling in one way or the other, zonal competitions were not elaborately absorbed by CAF is it is now and you still give it your all, there will be people who will of course feel you need to be around more.”

Musonye has been vocal about the stability of CECAFA, saying unity among the federation members would propel the sport to a higher level in the region.

“If there is instability and lack of order in our federations, you cannot even keep sponsors. There are members who have not been so cooperative, but the truth is that we need to keep our competitions as the fulcrum of our young players’ development.

“This year (2019) we took four teams to the African Cup of Nations. We need to keep doing this, but it will be possible if we come together and exploit the tournaments we have to produce more players,” said Musonye.

Elected officials will have to be vetted by CAF, to complete the big transition, with the incumbent SG playing a major role in it.