Rwanda Shifts Focus to CECAFA Challenge Cup

Yannick Mukunzi tries to go past Ethiopian defender Henok Adugna during 0-0 draw at Kigali stadium. internet Photo

After sealing a place at next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) final, Rwanda has shifted focus to this year’s CECAFA Challenge Cup set to be held in Kenya from November 25 to December 9, 2017.

The Amavubi qualified 3-2 on aggregate having won the first leg by that score in Addis Ababa last weekend.

Speaking to KT Sports on Sunday, the Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey said, “We are very happy for this remarkable CHAN qualification achievement. Eight months back, we started from zero, had no team, nothing at all and now we have qualified for CHAN and it’s something that we can really be proud of,”

“We are starting preparations for Cecafa Challenge Cup next week. We will use only the CHAN team, so no foreign player will be involved in this campaign. We see Cecafa tournament as preparations for CHAN finals.

“We will start with the same group. Bizimana Djihad is returning back after his suspension, Emmanuel Imanishimwe is also coming back after his injury and we hope to have a good result in Kenya and after this we will make our plan towards Morocco,” added the German-born coach.

Rwanda will train for one week before heading to Kenya for the two-week long regional tournament.

The Cecafa secretariat has confirmed Kakamega, Kisumu and Nakuru as host venues for the 12-nation event while Nairobi and Machakos will be put on stand-by.

Libya and Zimbabwe are the guest teams to grace the tournament and will act as replacements for Djibouti and Eritrea who have been dormant in international assignments and requested to be excluded in this year’s event.

Apart from Rwanda, hosts Kenya, Libya and Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zanzibar, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and Uganda are the other participating nations.

Kenya last hosted the tourney in 2013, beating Sudan 2-0 in the final to lift the trophy.

In the previous edition held in 2015, Rwanda reached the final but lost the final to Uganda 0-1.




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