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Date: 21 November 2017

  Eastern African - Soccer

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Stars face Eritrea in tough pool

[Posted 09 Nov 2011]
[By Charles Malingha]
Stars face Eritrea in tough pool

Kenya have been handed a tough group in this year’s Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations tournament following the draw on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam.

The regional soccer feast will be held in Tanzania from November.

Harambee Stars are in Group C together with 2012 African Cup of Nations bound Sudan, guest side, The Flames, of Malawi and Eritrea.

Twelve teams were included in the draw and placed in three groups of four teams each. Organisers have said the fixtures will be released by the end of the week.

Defending champions and hosts Tanzania are in Group A, together with Rwanda, Ethiopia and Djibouti, while 11-time winners Uganda are top seeds in Group B, that also has Burundi, Zanzibar and Somalia.

Sudan, as the top seeded team, start as favourites from Group C going by their recent form. They are the only Cecafa member country that will participate at next year’s African finals.

They will be making their second appearance in Africa finals in six years, are perennial title contenders in the Cecafa tournament and will be considered one of the greatest threats to Harambee Stars’ ambitions of clinching the trophy.

Malawi is another strong side Stars will have to overcome to get to the quarterfinal stage.

The Flames almos qualified for the African Cup of Nations only to falter at the last stage when - needing to win - were held to a 2-2 draw by Chad.

On their part, Harambee Stars will want to quickly forget their last Cecafa outing, where they couldn’t conjure a win from three group matches, losing 3-2 in their opening match against Malawi, 1-2 to Ethiopia, and 2-0 to Uganda.

Eritrea, Burundi, Burundi and Somalia are the underdogs to fight it out in their respective groups, while hosts Tanzania will looking to bag their fourth Cecafa title.

"This is a great day for Cecafa. We are ready to take off and we hope to have a successful tournament this year. I just ask all the teams to be ready and give their best this year," said Cecafa secretary general, Nicholas Musonye on telephone from Tanzania. He added that SuperSport will air all the matches.

Serengeti Breweries, through their Tusker brand have given the organisers Sh43million ($450,000) sponsorship for this year’s tournament.

At the same time, new Confederation of African Football rules have seen Zambia and Ivory Coast excluded from this year’s Cecafa tournament.

The new rules states that teams participating in the 2012 Nations Cup of Nations finals are not eligible to compete in any other event two months ahead of the prestigious continental competition.

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