Cameroon pull out of regional soccer tourney

08:39, November 02, 2010      

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Africa football giant Cameroon have pulled out of the Council of East and Central African Football Association (Cecafa) Senior Challenge Cup, slated for November 27 to December 12 in Tanzania.

The Indomitable Lions together with Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia and Malawi were the teams invited for the two week tourney, outside the Cecafa region to give the event a competitive edge.

Nicholas Musonye, Cecafa secretary general, confirmed on Monday that alongside Cameroon, the other teams that have opted out are troubled Djibouti and Eritrea.

Musonye said that the tournament's fixtures, which were supposed to be released last week on Sunday in dare s Salaam, were delayed because Tanzania was holding its elections on the same day. He however said the withdrawal of the three teams does not water down the annual competition.

"We have received a confirmation from Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia and Malawi. But as for Cameroon, they are out. Maybe they may join us in next year's championship," added Musonye.

"Both Djibouti and Eritrea will also be missing from this year's edition."

The withdrawal of Cameroon, Djibouti and Eritrea leaves only 12 teams.

"We have 12 confirmed teams, which will make drawing of the fixtures easy for us and we hope the event will be a successful," he said.

Musonye ruled out inviting Mozambique or Zimbabwe to fill out the vacancy.

Cote d'Ivoire will name a domestic based side as their international players will be away with the respective clubs across Europe.

The Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup is the region's flagship event and will be contested over two weeks from Nov. 27.

The challenge will feature defending champions Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia. Others include Sudan, Zanzibar, and hosts Tanzania Mainland.

"This year the contest provides a significant warm up for teams that will be playing in the 2011 Africa Nations Championship to be held in Khartoum, Sudan in January," said Musonye.

"In our edition, there is Cote d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan, who will all be taking part in the Nations Championship."

The Challenge Cup, which was last hosted by Mainland Tanzania in 2007, will be played on two venues of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza.

Source: Xinhua


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