Cecafa ready to welcome South Sudan to the fold, but not immediately

The newest nation has applied to join Cecafa, but they must first receive admission to Fifa and Caf first before the regional body will follow suit

The world's newest state, South Sudan, which has indicated its intention to participate in this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, will have to wait a little longer before they are allowed to take part in the regional tournament.

Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye told The Citizen that South Sudan will be ineligible unless it gains both Caf and Fifa membership status.

“We are happy to have a potential member, but their participation in the Senior Challenge Cup will depend on their Caf and Fifa status,” Musonye said.

It usually takes some time before a new country becomes sanctioned by Fifa and Caf. Zanzibar, a provisional member of the latter since 2007, is recognised by Cecafa as an independent state but is yet to participate in Fifa competitions as a single nation. It normally combines with mainland Tanzania to build a team for such competitions.

“We only have four months before the championship kicks off and it’s unlikely that South Sudan will have already got the nod from the two bodies,” Musonye pointed out.

At present, the Cecafa region comprises 11 countries namely: North Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zanzibar, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Tanzania mainland.

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