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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 17:00 GMT
Cecafa Cup preview
By Emmanuel Muga
BBC Sport, East Africa

Rwanda national team
Rwanda will be hoping to win their first title in six years

Four countries that failed to qualify for next year's African Cup of Nations are hoping to redeem their image in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup starting in Rwanda this weekend.

Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are expected to keenly contest this year's competition, sponsored by Ethiopian millionaire Hussein Al Amoudi.

But it is Rwanda, with their contingent of Europe-based players, that appears to be fielding the strongest squad for the 11-team tournament.

Training for two months under new coach Gilbert Kanyankore, The Wasps will be fortified by the presence of captain Oliver Karekezi, Bobo Bolla and Jean Lomami, who all ply their trade in Sweden.

Kanyakore was in charge when they won the Cecafa title in 1999.

Defending champions Ethiopia made a significant jump in the Fifa rankings after winning last year's title, an incentive to any of the poorly ranked sides seeking to improve their standings.

Mshindo Msolla, Tanzania's coach, hopes the regional tournament will play a key role in rebuilding the side that has failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations since 1980.

"I have carefully selected young talent alongside a few disciplined seniors.

"It is a strong team that will represent the country successfully," a confident Msolla said.

Goalkeeper Juma Kaseja, captain Mecky Maxime and Ulimboka Mwakingwe are the only experienced players in the Tanzania side.

The Cecafa tournament has been renamed the Al Amoudi Senior Challenge Cup, after its sponsor Hussein Al Amoudi.

An Ethiopian billionaire, Al Amoudi is offering US $1.5 million, over three years, to cover prize money and tournament costs.

SEE ALSO
Cecafa Cup 2005 results
25 Nov 05 |  African
Ethiopia win Cecafa Cup
26 Dec 04 |  African


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