News Live Scores
CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Cecafa sets dates for U17, U20 Afcon qualifiers for East Africa nations

10:18 BST 16/10/2020
Rising Stars midfielder Joshua Nyatini in action in favor of Kenya.
Tanzania and Rwanda will host the annual tournaments with the winners set to represent the region in the continental competition

The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) has confirmed the U17 and U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will be played starting November 22.

Initially, there were doubts about whether the qualifiers would be played owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a recent meeting by member associations unanimously agreed the matches should continue.

"During the Cecafa Executive Committee meeting held in Arusha on Saturday 10th October 2020, the decision to go ahead with the U17 and U20 Afcon Qualifiers was reached," Cecafa confirmed in a statement obtained by Goal.

"To this effect, the Cecafa Secretariat has already received participation confirmation for the Afcon U17 [and U20] qualifiers from the [10 member Football Associations].

Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya have confirmed they will be part of the qualifiers. The U20 qualifiers will be staged in Tanzania from November 22 - December 6 while the U17 competition will be played from December 13 - December 28 in Rwanda.

"Both these qualifier tournaments will feature 10 teams which will be in two pools. After the pool stages, the top two teams will proceed to the semifinals. The Secretariat will announce the dates for the draw of the tournament which will be done virtually," the statement added.

Rwanda and Tanzania have also been urged to communicate in advance the Covid-19 situation in the countries to avoid putting the competition into jeopardy.

"Cecafa is well aware of the restrictions in different member countries as far as social gatherings travel, and medical preparedness is concerned," it continued.

"The host countries should therefore give the necessary assurances to the participating teams on their wellbeing and precautions around Covid–19. 

"Further note that all participating teams will be responsible for their respective countries' requirements including Covid–19 testing and other protocols required by their governments prior to departure back to their home countries after the tournament."

In the Cecafa region, Tanzanian football has been ongoing since June 13 while Uganda are set to start the 2020/21 season in early November.

Kenya has a proposal to start the season from November 20 after the games were postponed in March.