Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye has lauded Burundi’s preparations for hosting the U17 Cecafa Challenge Cup in April, 2018.
Speaking to Nairobi News following a week-long inspection tour of the venues in the tiny East African country, Musonye said:
“I am shocked and excited with the work I’m seeing here (in Burundi). These are good facilities, small-standard stadiums of between 6,000 to 10,00 seater with a lovely surface.”
The annual Cecafa congress sitting held in Nairobi last November named Burundi as host of this youth tournament.
Kenya is among 12 nations expected to compete in the two-week long competition.
President Pierre Nkurunzinza has since been spearheading the renovation and construction of three stadiums in Ngozi, Muyinga and Gitega.
President Nkurunzinza is said to have given a thumbs up to the games being staged in Burundi with view to exciting and uniting a polarised nation reeling from civil strife and economic hardships.
The Head of State, who also is a renowned football fan told Musonye: “We are almost ready for the games and I wish to really commend Cecafa for investing in youth football. Our fans love football, just wait and see how they will fill the stadiums. Next, we will be looking to host the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.”
The youth tournament is also in line to benefit from the recently approved Sh100 million Fifa funding aimed at improving women and youth football in this region.
Meanwhile, Cecafa has again handed Kenya the hosting rights for this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup for a successive year even though losing finalists Zanzibar had expressed solid interest. Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Machakos, Kakamega and Narok counties are bidding to host the games.