Ethiopia wrote to the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA), saying they will not be able to host the tournament because their national team is engaged in AFCON qualifiers, while the domestic league is still on and they would like to concentrate on them.
Surely, chances for the competition to take place this year are in jeopardy as Sudan, who were requested to rescue the event, are yet to respond to CECAFA’s call. \No other member country has come forward to declare its readiness to rescue the situation so far.
Ironically, despite the uncertainty on the event’s host, CECAFA officials insisted that the dates of the tournament that was to run from November 24 to December 9 this year, will not be changed.
However, that remains to be seen! With less than ten days remaining before kicking off of this year’s event, it is sad to note that this tournament might not take place for the first time in many years and the region should be ready to bear the consequences of such failure.
Failure to stage this tournament will affect regional football development and it will write a new chapter in the history of the tournament that should otherwise, see its steady growth being maintained.
It is better to remind our readers that the Senior Challenge Cup remains the oldest competition in Africa and the profile of competitions raised because of the competitive nature in the events especially in the 1970s and 1980s.
CECAFA tournament should not be allowed to die. This tournament attracts a very wide following across East and Central Africa. It also involves some of the warravaged nations such as Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, where guns would fall silent for soccer.
Indeed, it has been proved that well-handled football can promote peace in Africa and this is why we feel it is important for this tournament to be staged no matter what.
CECAFA members should unite and think of ways to rescue this tournament and make sure that it is upgraded to become one of the successful soccer events in Africa and the world.