TANZANIA Mainland soccer team, Kilimanjaro Stars to participate in the forthcoming Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya will be unveiled early next week.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Information and Communications Officer, Alfred Lucas disclosed yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the team which will take part in the Senior Challenge Cup will be named upon a return of Taifa Stars players who are in Benin for an international friendly match.
The Senior Challenge Cup is scheduled to start from November 25 to December 9 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Lucas said after Taifa Stars game with Benin on Sunday, the federation will be in a position to name the players who will form the Mainland team as well the technical bench for the continent’s oldest tournament.
Challenge Cup returns to the regional scene after two years in coma. The last edition of the tournament was held in 2015 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Uganda claimed the trophy after beating Rwanda 1-0.
This year’s championship to be hosted in Kenya will be held across different venues in the country with the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Moi Stadium in Kisumu, Afraha Stadium in Nakuru and the Mumias Sports Complex opted to stage matches.
Tanzania Mainland will be represented by Kilimanjaro Stars while Zanzibar will be represent by Zanzibar Heroes in the tournament that involves 12 countries.
The countries that have confirmed participation are hosts Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Mainland, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Libya. Zimbabwe and Libya have replaced Eretria and Djibouti as guest teams.
According to the organisers CECAFA, teams will start arriving in Nairobi from November 22 with Kenya seeking to redeem its image from the last edition it hosted in 2013 where some teams were detained in hotels over unpaid bills.
The prize money structure remains the same with the winner pocketing 30,000 US dollars which is about 70m/- , runner-ups will take home 20,000 and 10,000 US dollars respectively.
The tournament started as the Gossage Cup in 1926 involving Kenya,Uganda,Tanganyika and Zanzibar before changing its name to CECAFA with Zambia, Malawi, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
It was not played in 1950 as Gossage and the title was shared in 1951 between Uganda and Kenya.
The tournament began proper in 1967 as CECAFA and in 1986 and 1993 the tournaments were not held as both Somalia and Uganda who were hosts withdrew.