Jinja to host CECAFA Senior Challenge
The 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup set for the December 7 to 19 will be staged outside Kampala, with the two main stadia in the capital city unavailable.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has confirmed two venues, the Njeru FUFA Technical Centre (artificial surface) and the Kyabazinga Stadium (natural grass) in Bugembe, Jinja for the two week tournament.
“The National Stadium Namboole in Kampala is not in good condition to host the tournament following the heavy rains being experienced in the city. The second stadium, Lugogo is booked for the 2019 East Africa Legislative Assemblies Games which will be played concurrently with CECAFA,” the Secretary General Nicholas Musonye told Citizen Digital.
However, Musonye is comfortable with the venues outside the capital, saying the sport has been previously well received in Jinja.
“We are comfortable with the stadiums in Jinja. We promise our fans nothing will be diluted in the tournament because of the venues; Jinja is perfect for us,” added the outgoing SG.
This is the first time that Uganda will host the Championship since 2012, when they won by beating Kenya in the final.
Meanwhile, Harambee Stars will open their title defence against Djibouti on Sunday, December 8, in what will be the fifth match of the tournament.
Stars will then lock horns with Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars on Tuesday, December 10 before winding up group matches against Zanzibar two days later.
The Francis Kimanzi coached side on Tuesday intensified training at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, after hitting the camp on Monday.
Kimanzi is on record that Harambee Stars will be out to defend the title, won in 2017 when the Championship was last held in Kenya.
Burundi and Eritrea will open the Jinja fiesta on Saturday at 2pm EAT, with the second match pitting hosts Uganda and Ethiopia.
Group A – Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea.
Group B – DR Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia.
Group C – Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, Zanzibar.
Report by Jacob Icia and Philip Muchiri