Gor Mahia, Kenya’s most successful club in the region have been readmitted into the forthcoming Cecafa-Kagame Cup after being sidelined for indiscipline.
Gor misbehaved during the 2018 Cecafa finals held in Dar es salaam, Tanzania, after snubbing the prize presentation ceremony.
Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye did not shed more light on the issue, only saying K’Ogalo were back in the tournament.
Gor Mahia has been drawn in Group D alongside DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo, KMKM from Zanzibar and AS Ports (Djibouti).
Bandari, currently in South Africa, have been drawn in Group B with defending champions Azam (Tanzania), home side Mukura and Uganda’s KCCA.
Rayon Sports, the reigning Rwanda champions and one-time CECAFA Kagame Cup winners, have been drawn with DR Congo giants TP Mazembe in Group A of this year’s tournament, due next month in Rwanda.
The group also comprises KMC of Tanzania and South Sudan’s Atlabara.
Rwanda will be hosting the tournament, Africa’s oldest club competition, for the first time since 2014.
Rwanda’s APR, who are in Group C along with Green Buffaloes of Zambia, Ugandan outfit Proline and Heegan from Somalia, won three of the previous four editions held in Rwanda – in 2004, 2007 and 2010 – before finishing second 2014.
Speaking during the draw ceremony at Ferwafa headquarters in Kigali, Musonye, underscored that sixteen teams is a fitting number for a good tournament.
“The tournament is going to be very competitive. The addition of guest teams from DR Congo and Zambia will be a good test to our players and clubs ahead of the new continental football season.”
Mukura are one of the three teams approved at last minute, along with Motema Pembe (DR Congo) and Atlabara (South Sudan).
Group A and Group C matches will be played in Kigali, Group B in Huye District, while Umuganda Stadium, in Rubavu District, will host Group D games.
Winners of the annual tournament will go home with $30,000 (Rwf27 million) in cash prize, beaten finalists pocket $20,000 (Rwf18 million) while the second runners-up will receive $10,000, around Rwf9 million.
Group stage draw
Group A: Rayon Sports (Rwa), TP Mazembe (DRC), KMC (Tan), Atlabara (S. Sudan)
Group B: Azam (Tan), Mukura (Rwa), Bandari (Ken) and KCCA (Ug)
Group C: APR (Rwa), Green Buffaloes (Zam), Proline (Ug) and Heegan (Som)
Group D: Gor Mahia (Ken), DC Motema Pembe (DRC), KMKM (Zan), and AS Ports (Dji)