Why defending champions Express FC pulled out of the CECAFA Kagame Cup

Why defending champions Express FC pulled out of the CECAFA Kagame Cup

Festus Chuma 10:30 - 04.07.2024

Ugandan side Express FC have revealed reason behind their unexpected withdrawal from the CECAFA Kagame Cup.

CECAFA Kagame Cup defending champions Express FC have revealed why they will not be participating in this year’s tournament.

Express FC, who secured the trophy in the previous edition by narrowly defeating Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 in Tanzania, announced their unexpected withdrawal in a recent statement.

The club disclosed that the decision stemmed from the tournament organizers' move to withdraw their invitation due to financial constraints.

“Despite intended efforts to participate as defending champions, on 1st of July 2024, the club was informed by the organizers through official communication by email about their decision to recall their invitation to us as defending champions, citing financial restraints,” the statement explained.

This revelation has opened the door for other teams to capture the spotlight particularly Gor Mahia.

The FKF Premier League champions have been placed in a challenging Group B alongside Al Hilal (Sudan), Red Arrows (Zambia), and Djibouti Telecom FC.

The group stages promise to be a thrilling contest as teams vie for supremacy at the prestigious regional tournament, set to be held from July 9th to 21st at the Azam Complex in Chamazi and KMC Stadium in Kinondoni.

The tournament’s structure this year includes some fiercely competitive groups as Group A features Tanzanian side Coastal Union FC, Al Wadi FC (Sudan), JKU SC (Zanzibar), and Somalia’s Dekedaha FC.

Meanwhile, Group C could be termed as the 'group of death', with two former champions SC Villa (Uganda) and Apr FC (Rwanda), along with Singida Black Stars FC (Tanzania) and Al Merriekh Bentiu (South Sudan).

Express FC’s absence is undoubtedly a significant blow to their fans and the tournament, but it also enhances the chances for teams like Gor Mahia to leave a mark.

“We understand the disappointment this news brings to our players, technical team, fans, partners, and the entire Express FC community. Nonetheless, we will continue to prepare for the 2024-2025 football calendar."