Some teams from a particular country only get fixtures where there is a convenient direct flight from Cairo. CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani had the pride of place, on the podium conducting the draws for the 2014 Orange CAF Confederation Cup play-offs on Tuesday. A good show of transparency.

What many will note is that at the more crucial stages, the preliminary rounds when minnows attempt to find a footing, the fixtures are shrouded in secrecy. They hand-pick fixtures for teams from a particular region and if El Amrani wants to dispute this, he should invite all to the “arranging” of preliminary matches for the 2015 season.

The current script, only in the precincts of CAF offices in Cairo is that, as much as possible, teams play their immediate neighbours in the preliminaries. Yet, Cairo teams receive ONLY fixtures at destinations with direct flights from Cairo.

That is why, almost without fail, even though Egyptian neighbours are Chad, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Cairo clubs Al Ahly, Zamalek, Arab Contractors etc, have always been “given” opponents from Kenya, Tanzania or Burundi, three, four and five countries respectively away.

The real “fixing” of matches happens at this level shrouded in secrecy. The level at which despite appeals and protestations that date to many years ago has never been open to scrutiny. Shame on CAF! El Amrani said he thanked those who attended the Tuesday draw. How about him doing the same after he sends invitations to next year preliminary round draws?

GISHINGA NJOROGE is a Correspondent with Voice of Sport, a CECAFA region sports website. To have your opinion article posted on Kawowo Sports, please contact us.

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