In yet another milestone for the regional football body, Cecafa yesterday launched Under 15 football tournament in Asmara, Eritrea.
At the ceremony, Cecafa secretary general, Nicholas Musonye, said the inaugural tournament will be attended by all Cecafa member associations who endorsed the event at their meeting in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania last month.
The event, to be sponsored by Fifa Forward Programme initiative, will be the first U-15 tournament to be staged in Africa. According to Musonye, the tournament is designed to help the region prepare for the Under-17 Afcon qualifiers starting early next year.
The initiative to launch the U-15 event has been backed by Caf president Ahmad Ahmad, who attended the Cecafa meeting in Dar last month. Musonye met the director of sports and culture, Amb. Zemede Tecle and the President of the Eritrean National Football Federation (ENFF) Esayas Abraham.
Commissioner Tecle confirmed that Eritrea is ready to host Cecafa and acknowledged the importance of the tournament to the people of Eritrea and the region as a whole. He said the Government of Eritrea will support Cecafa and ENFF to ensure the event is a success.
Esayas said his committee had already formed committees to coordinate the event. Musonye praised Eritrea and Ethiopia for making peace, confirming that the Ethiopia Football Federation had already confirmed their participation in the competition.
The event will kick off in Asmara August 17th to September 1. Eritrea last hosted a Cecafa event in 2010.