NAIROBI, Kenya, June 6- Local league titleholders, Tusker FC have withdrawn from the regional Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) Kagame Cup citing security concern in Southern Sudan.
The annual club championship, eligible for league winners in all 11 CECAFA countries, is sponsored by Rwanda President Paul Kagame with prize of 60,000 U.S. dollars and will be staged from June 18 to July 2.
“Insecurity as the main reason for our withdrawal. We have the responsibility to protect lives and where we are based in Sudan is not safe,” said Tusker Chairman James Musyoki.
In a swift rejoinder, Cecafa General Secretary General, Nick Musonye was categorical. “They can withdraw from Cecafa Club Championships, I really don’t care.”
Musyoki said the club is not comfortable playing their matches in the Kadugli City where they have been stationed during the two week tournament.
Kadugli is the capital city of South Gordofan State in Sudan and houses one of the headquarters of the United Nations Mission in Sudan charged with keeping peace in war torn Darfur.
“We have been advised by our security department not to risk travelling to Kadugli City because no one can guarantee we will be safe. We do not want to put the lives of players and other officials in danger and so the best thing is to pull out,” he said.
Musyoki said Tusker may rescind their decision should the venue is changed to another country or Sudan capital Khartoum.
Reports in Tanzania indicate Simba SC have also followed suit dealing a big blow to the annual tournament.