The popular east African club tournament begins this weekend in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The tournament that sees twelve league champions from the region take part will this year not have guest teams, as has been the tradition.
“This year we will not have guest teams since it will mean a squeeze of budget for us,” Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye told Daily News.
Liberty of Ghana and Al Ahly had requested and confirmed their participation before their efforts were turned down in the last minute.
Eritrea will also sit out of the competition since air travel from the Horn of Africa state has been hampered by the ash cloud emanating from volcanic eruptions experienced last week.
The twelve teams have been put into three groups for the two week championship, which ends on July 9.
On Saturday, Rwandese Etincelles will take on Ocean Boys of Zanzibar in an earlier kick off, before Tanzania's Simba battle Vital O of Burundi in a late kick off.
Group A - Simba SC of Tanzania, Vital O (Burundi), Etincelles (Rwanda) and Ocean Boys (Zanzibar).
Group B - Yanga (Tanzania), El Mereikh (Sudan), Bunamwaya (Uganda), Elman (Somalia).
Group C - APR of Rwanda, St.George (Ethiopia), Ulinzi Stars (Kenya) and Ports FC from Djibouti.