Kenya will play it's first match against Malawi in this year's edition of the CECAFA Tusker Challenge Cup on November 28 in Dar es Salaam.
The announcement of the fixtures comes just hours after Harambee Stars booked their place in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers where the two teams have also been pooled together in Group F.
The Flames of Malawi had earlier in the week pulled out of the regional tournament citing short notice from CECAFA who invited them as one of the two guest teams.
But the Southern African nation rescinded the decision and will now meet Kenya in a repeat of last year's group stage match that Harambee Stars lost 3-2. Kenya will meet Ethiopia on November 30 before wrapping up their pool matches on December 3rd against Sudan. Harambee Stars will play all its matches in Dar es Salaam.
CECAFA had initially invited Zambia and Ivory Coast as guest teams in the tournament. However, the regional football body was forced to withdraw the invitation since CAF regulations forbid teams that have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations from taking part in any competitions ahead of the continental showpiece. Both Zambia and Ivory Coast participated in the 2010 edition of the tournament last December with the latter finishing runners up behind hosts Tanzania.
Sudan,however, a CECAFA member country, has been exempted from the rule though they also qualified for the biennial continental showpiece to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in January.
At the same time, Namibia will be making their debut in the tournament replacing Eritrea who have withdrawn. Namibia will play in Pool A alongside hosts and title holders Tanzania, Rwanda and Djibouti.
Ethiopia which was initially in Pool A now joins Kenya, Sudan and Malawi in Pool C.Pool B comprises, Uganda, Burundi, Zanzibar and Somalia. The top two teams and the best two qualifiers from all the three groups qualify to the quarter finals.
East Africa Breweries Limited, through Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL,) has sponsored the tournament, which runs form November 25 to December 10.
Meanwhile, James Situma (FK Tirana - Albania), Dennis Odhiambo (Pretoria University - South Africa), Jamal Mohamed (Turge Mures - Romania) will all be available for Harambee Stars in the regional tournament.
The trios' availability will no doubt add to the options coach Francis Kimanzi already has at disposal. On Monday Kimanzi called up five new players to the team's camp ahead of the CECAFA championship.
The new faces are Chemelil Sugar striker Victor Ochieng, Thika United's Yusuf Juma, Edwin Lavatsa (Gor Mahia), Jackton Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars) and Kevin Serenge (Western Stima). Having safely navigated the 2014 World Cup pre-qualifiers round, Kimanzi will be using the tournament to test new players in readiness for bigger assignments next year.
“I am still in the process of building the team. It is a step by step process and the CECAFA tournament will give me a chance to test my players, especially the local ones”, Kimanzi said after Tuesday's 4-0 win over Seychelles.
GROUP A: Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia, DjiboutiGROUP B: Uganda, Burundi, Zanzibar, SomaliaGROUP C: Kenya, Sudan, Malawi, Ethiopia
Friday 25th Nov 2011
Burundi Vs Somalia
Uganda Vs Zanzibar
Sat 26th Nov 2011
Tanzania Vs Rwanda
Sun 27th Nov 2011
Namibia Vs Djibouti
Zanzibar Vs Burundi
Mon 28th Nov 2011
Sudan Vs Ethiopia
Kenya Vs Malawi
Somalia Vs Uganda
Tue 29th Nov 2011
Rwanda Vs Namibia
Djibouti Vs Tanzania
Wed 30th Nov 2011
Ethiopia Vs Kenya
Malawi Vs Sudan
Thur 1st Dec 2011
Somalia Vs Zanzibar
Burundi Vs Uganda
Fri 2nd Dec 2011
Rwanda Vs Djibouti
Ethiopia Vs Malawi
Sat 3rd Dec 2011
Kenya Vs Sudan
Tanzania Vs Namibia
Mon 5th Dec 2011 C2 Vs B2A1 Vs Best loser 1
Tue 6th Dec 2011 C1 Vs Best loser 2B1 Vs A2
Thur 8th Dec 2011 Winner 19 Vs winner 20
Winner 21 Vs Winner 22
Final And Third Place
Sat 10th Dec 2011 Loser 23 Vs Loser 24
Winner 23 Vs Winner 24
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