Sudan for the first time has been selected to host pre-Olympic football qualifying tournament this year in an effort to boost its chances of participating in the 2016 games.
The secretary of the East and Central Africa Football Federation (CECAFA) Nicholas Musonye said the under-23 tournament scheduled to be held in Khartoum in September will be used to prepare the region ahead of the African Olympic football qualifiers which will take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2015.
Musonye said they are all aware that no football team from the East and Central African countries has ever made it to the Olympic Games. He added that they will be holding this event to prepare the teams towards the African qualifiers. They will be hoping to have at least one team emerging from the region in 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Musonye told a news conference in Nairobi.
Sudan is also set to stage CECAFA’s maiden Nile Basin Cup Winners Cup for league runner-up teams taking place in May and June this year.
Musonye has expressed grief in the failure of football clubs from the 12-member countries of CECAFA due to their inability to advance beyond second round of both African Championship and CAF Confederation Cup tournaments this season.
He said this was a bad sign for football in the region, adding that their teams have not realized that African football is tricky and very demanding and thus called on the need for proper preparations.