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The official line from Cecafa to substantiate the change was that the main sponsor EABL had 'requested' the tournament be held in Uganda

It was initially intended to be a straight forward decision. The regional Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) congress sitting in Dar es Salaam last November, unanimously resolved to 'offer' Kenya the hosting rights of the next annual Senior Challenge Cup tournament, scheduled to take place in November.

Kenya gleefully jumped at the 'opportunity’. According to Football Kenya Federation Chairman Sam Nyamweya, an organizing committee was thereafter set up to oversee preparations for staging the twelve national team (s) competition.

These preparations included the renovation of the Moi Stadium in Kisumu City, and the engaging of prospective co - sponsors, including renowned media houses to facilitate the event.

However, somewhere in between, something went amiss.

Cecafa changed track. Through its Secretary General Nicholas Musonye, a Kenyan, the association sent out a statement indicating that a change was in the offing, implying that Uganda and not Kenya will stage the 2012 event.

The official line from Cecafa to substantiate the change was that the main sponsor East African Breweries Limited, (EABL) had 'requested' the tournament be held in Uganda.

This sudden development provided the perfect recipe for a face off between the Kenyan administrators and their regional counterparts.

Needless to point out Nyamweya did not take the announcement lying down. Foremost and perhaps justifiably, he contested and then protested the decision.

Thereafter, he apparently sought out the main sponsors who claimed they had no problem with the earlier decision of Kenya staging the event.

So who was fooling who?

Next, the Kenyan FA chief threatened to withdraw the national team from the event if Kenya was to be 'unfairly denied' the hosting rights, and instead organize a 'parallel' four nation tournament, that will involve the  Harambee Stars on the same dates as the Cecafa competition.

Now, the Cecafa member countries have taken sides.

The newest kid on the bloc, South Sudan has officially protested the moving of the event from Kenya. The country's FA President, Ghabur Goc Alel says "we find ourselves in a very difficult situation.....as we have received no official communication reversing this decision (to offer Kenya the hosting rights).

And then the politics.

"Whatever differences he (Musonye) has with his home country should not be extended to the region, " Ghabur claimed, before Nyamweya added, "His (Musonye) conduct has not been good....he has been campaigning against CAF President Issa Hayatou,...that is unacceptable"

For those of you who must know, the Cecafa Secretariat and the Football Kenya Federation national offices are located within the same venue, at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.

What therefore, stopped the aforementioned administrators from walking some few hundred meters to share a round table and solve this seemingly sensitive issue before it spiraled out of control, will remain a mystery.

Interestingly, EABL through its most popular brand Tusker, are the main sponsors of the Kenyan national team, Harambee Stars. How the alcohol manufacturers, alongside the two other warring parties Cecafa and Fkf, all based in Nairobi, failed to meet and arrest this face off in due course, is also worth a mention.

Lastly, the official explanation offered by Cecafa as to why the tourney was moved to Kampala leaves a lot to be desired.

The World Governing body Fifa, and it sister body Uefa are some of the most successful association in the sport. Neither schedule tournaments at the advice of potential sponsors. That decision, to the best of my knowledge, should be left to the event organizers.

In the meantime, what started as a suggestion looks likely to split the twelve member association, the oldest and most vibrant on the African continent, down the middle.

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