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Regional football tourney set for Friday launch

13 November 2013, 09:15

Nairobi - The preliminary matches of the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup will be played in Nairobi and Machakos town, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

Regional soccer officials also confirmed the official launch of the tournament has been pushed from Wednesday to Friday with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) still awaiting word from Burundi on whether they will take part in the oldest tournament in Africa.

According to Confederation of Africa Football Association ( Cecafa) Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye, the title sponsor for the event will also be unveiled on Friday following concerns the event would not be funded after the Kenyan Government pulled out.

"For easier management and planning, the preliminary games will be held in Nairobi and Machakos while other hosting towns namely; Kisumu, Mombasa and Mumias will stage some knockout matches," Musonye told on Tuesday.

"We had expressed our reservation about the readiness of Kisumu but with the decision to have the preliminary matches in Nairobi, the lakeside town have more time to prepare," the official added.

Cecafa technical committee officials arrived in the country on Thursday to tour the venues and make a final submission on their fitness to host the competition that runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 12.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Sam Nyamweya told the organizers that the artificial turf has already been taken to Kisumu and work to lay it will commence before the end of the week.

"The government approved the 3.6 million shillings [42.4 million U.S. dollars] for the clearing of the turf from the Port of Mombasa. We have also agreed with the Kisumu County Government to clear the huge pile of garbage adjacent to the stadium," the FKF boss added.

"What remains is just laying the turf and a few things which should not take long so I can assure you that it will be ready," he explained.

The countries that have confirmed participation alongside the hosts are defending champions Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Zanzibar, Eritrea and Zambia.

The kick-off set to correspond with World Cup trophy tour to Kenya.

- Xinhua


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