TP Mazembe among three guest teams invited as CECAFA Kagame Cup returns after a two-year hiatus

Atibu Radjabu (R) of TP Mazembe competes for a header in the CAF Champions League semi-final against Al Ahly of Egypt. IMAGE/Imago

TP Mazembe among three guest teams invited as CECAFA Kagame Cup returns after a two-year hiatus

Festus Chuma 10:39 - 11.06.2024

The Ravens are among teams set to challenge Gor Mahia in the upcoming CECAFA Kagame Cup.

Kenya representatives in the CECAFA Kagame Cup, Gor Mahia, are likely to face the challenge of five-time Africa champions TP Mazembe of DR Congo in next month's championships in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

The highly anticipated tournament, which will run from July 6th to 22nd, has been rescheduled from its initial dates of July 20th to August 4th.

Mazembe is among three guest teams invited for the tournament, alongside Malawi's Nyasa Big Bullets and Zambia’s Red Arrows FC.

Their participation is expected to add a competitive edge to the event, giving the local teams a taste of top-level football from across the region.

“This competition will help our teams in the Zone prepare better in the pre-season ahead of the 2024/2025 CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup which start in August. Having top sides from DR Congo, Malawi and Zambia will also spice-up our Club competition and give our teams a real test,” said CECAFA Executive Director John Auka Gecheo.

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup 2024, which was meant to open the CECAFA calendar from June 29th to July 14th, has been cancelled to allow players more time to prepare with their teams ahead of the Kagame Cup.

Other teams set to compete in the CECAFA Kagame Cup include Vital ‘O (Burundi), APR FC (Rwanda), El Merreikh, Al Hilal, Hai El Wadi (Sudan), Young Africans SC, Simba SC, Azam FC, Coastal Union FC (Tanzania), SC Villa (Uganda), JKU SC (Zanzibar), and El Merreikh FC-Bentiu (South Sudan).

The last tournament, held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2021, saw Uganda’s Express FC emerge victorious by beating guest side Nyasa Big Bullets from Malawi 1-0 in the final.

The absence of the tournament over the past two years has only heightened anticipation for this year's edition.

Tanzania’s Simba SC holds the record for the most CECAFA Kagame Cup titles, having lifted the trophy six times.

They are closely followed by their national rivals, Young Africans (Yanga) SC, and Kenya's Tusker FC, both of whom have won the cup five times each.

Other notable winners include APR FC (Rwanda), Al Merriekh (Sudan), SC Villa (Uganda), and Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC, each with three titles.

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