- Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 00:39
- Written by EDITOR
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FOOTBALL loving fans in East and Central Africa are once again following closely the ongoing CECAFA Kagame Cup, as top sides in the region battle in the championships that Tanzania is hosting for the second year running.
CECAFA Club Cup is the topmost football club competition involving giant teams from the East and Central Africa. It was renamed CECAFA-Kagame Cup in 2002 after President Paul Kagame of Rwanda offered to take up its sponsorship.President Kagame has played a big role in making the annual championship a success. Certainly, his involvement has made sure that the annual tournament grows in stature.
More teams find it valuable to compete not only because of the cash at stake for winners but also the tournament's competitive nature which provides them with an opportunity to build strong squads. This year's tournament has so far proved to be tough with teams such as URA from Uganda, Atletico from Burundi, Rwanda's APR and Vita from Congo emerging as strong contenders.
The defeats that bedevilled both Mainland giants Simba and Yanga in their opening group matches against URA and Atletico respectively speaks volumes. Ironically, thumping minors like South Sudan's El Salaam Wau and Djibouti's Ports shouldn't give Simba and Yanga something to cheer about.
The Mainland teams won against the weak teams but this does not make Simba and Yanga strong competitors.Simba and Yanga are struggling to live to expectations. Their fans have been supporting them all along and expecting better performance.
In a dramatic turn of events, some Simba and Yanga fans have turned against their own teams and are now booing them.
It is imperative to mention here that this is wrong reaction. The fans should, instead, offer greater support to their teams. They should press for more meaningful performance.
In the previous tournament held in Dar es Salaam, the Mainland side, Yanga, snatched the trophy in the final beating the tournaments' record title winners, Simba. It wasn't a great performance either as the dismal show in the CAF club tournament indicated later.
What the Kagame cup presents for the local teams is a challenge to improve. We believed that at the end the tournament our teams will have learned a perfect lesson. One of the lessons is that they need to get quality players if they are really keen on making it to international stage.