Council for East and Central Africa Football (CECAFA) Secretary General Nicholas Musonye is hopeful the region will have a representative at the 2015 AFCON finals in Morocco.
Following end to the pre-group qualifiers, the region’s hopes remain in Uganda and Rwanda who both advanced from the first and second round stage plus Ethiopia and Sudan who had already earned a ticket to the group phase.
“We are very well poised to take a team or two to the Morocco,” said Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye as quoted by Voice of Sport.
“Rwanda have worked hard and smartly. They join a tough group against especially Nigeria and South Africa, but the Amavubi’s morale has been massively boosted by that elimination of Congo Brazzaville and I believe they will do well,” added Musonye.
Musonye urged all CECAFA nations to fight for all three points in home games and give it their best on the road.
On which sides he gives the best chance of progression, Musonye didn’t hesitate to say Ethiopia who are placed in the same group as Algeria, Mali and Malawi seem a good bet to play at the finals.
“Ethiopia have an excellent chance against Algeria, Mali and Malawi. There has been a lot of good work in Addis [Ababa] in the past two years; in fact their elimination at the last hurdle by Nigeria from a 2014 World Cup slot is testimony.”
On Uganda’s chances of appearing at the finals for the first time since 1978, Musonye said The Cranes have the toughest group of all regional teams but insisted that an improvement in the away record will see them dine with the big boys in Morocco come 2015.
“I have to say Uganda have a big obstacle to go over in Group ‘E’ against Ghana and Togo who have been to the World Cup and the traditionally strong Guinea. But our Cranes brothers should give it their best shot. They are always good in Kampala so they should aim at three home wins and contest the way fixtures as much as they can.”
Musonye spared time to praise soccer governing bodies in Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia saying they are focused and are likely to achieve in future.
“I have confidence in the Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia FAs. They are focused and definitely will reap fruits for their labour.” “Rwanda and Sudan should pay keen attention and ensure good home results against Nigeria and South Africa in each case and then anything can happen.”
Musonye bemoaned the loss of what he termed regular campaigners in Kenya and Tanzania but blamed their exit to failure to use home advantage.
Kenya fell to Lesotho 1-0 on aggregate after drawing goalless at home while Taifa Stars fell to Mozambique 4-3 on with a 2-2 home draw proving costly.
“Losing Kenya and Tanzania, key members of Cecafa, is disheartening. Tanzania were up against [Mozambique] formidable regular campaigners in the AFCON while Kenya should have easily gone over Lesotho. However, not taking home advantage by both our teams became the doom,” argued Musonye.