CECAFA lifts Gor ban, invite TP Mazembe and Zesco for tourney

James Magayi @magayijim

Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) has lifted the ban imposed on Kenyan champions Gor Mahia after the shameful boycott of medal ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2018.

CECAFA took punitive measures on K’Ogalo at the time, banning them from participating in the championships for two years and withholding their Sh1 million-prize money. The organisation however, released the money shortly after Gor management apologised but CECAFA did not rescind the two-year ban.

A source within Gor confirmed to People Sport that CECAFA had indeed cleared the club to take part in this year’s Kagame Cup slated for Kigali, Rwanda from July 6-21.  Gor earned the right to represent Kenya in the regional club championship after winning the 2018/2019 SportPesa Premier League.

“We will play in CECAFA because the two-year ban pronounced on us was lifted last week. We apologised for the incidence in which our players erred in boycotting the medal ceremony and we have followed it up with the organization over the past couple of weeks. Last week the secretary gave us the green light and we are grateful for the opportunity,” said the source.

Bigger and better

K’Ogalo will be joined at the regional games with Kenya’s representatives to next edition of CAF Confederation Cup Bandari. The coastal club received an invite after two Tanzanian clubs Simba and Yanga opted out of the competition.

This year’s Kagame Cup will however, be bigger and better even without the two Tanzanian outfits after African giants TP Mazembe, AS Vita both of DR Congo and Zambian upstart Zesco United’s requests to participate were allowed. Most teams will use the tournament for pre season preparation although it comes too early for others comfort.

Musonye however, believes that teams from East Africa can make bigger strides in CAF Club Competitions if they gave the Kagame Cup the seriousness it deserved. He responded curtly to suggestions that the tournament is dying due to his poor leadership.

“The tournament will take place and our clubs who want to prepare for CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will participate. Those who don’t want can stay away. We want to help our clubs avoid being humiliated in Africa. The tournament does not belong to Simba or Yanga and CECAFA is not Musonye. It belongs to 12-member associations. Even with the expanded African Club football, our teams still cannot advance,” Musonye said