TP Mazembe cast doubt on participation in CECAFA Kagame Cup

By Nassir Nchimbi ,, News Agency , The Guardian
Published at 05:00 AM Jun 15 2024
TP Mazembe squad.
Photo: Agencies
TP Mazembe squad.

FIVE-TIME CAF Champions League winners, TP Mazembe, have clarified their position regarding participation in the 2024 CECAFA Kagame Cup, scheduled to take place from July 6 to 22 in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Despite initial reports, the Congolese giants have stated they have not received any official invitation from the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).

Mazembe were initially named as one of three guest teams set to participate in the tournament alongside Malawi's Nyasa Big Bullets and Zambia’s Red Arrows FC.

However, a statement from the club revealed a different reality.

"The management of TP Mazembe learned from the media about the club's participation in the CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024," the club's statement reads.

"TPM informs the club's large family that it has not yet received any official invitation for its participation in the CECAFA Kagame Cup tournament, in which it has participated in the past."

The statement further clarified the club’s current status at the Dr Congo giants.

"Management indicates that the players are currently on leave and that training will resume on July 15, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. at the TP Mazembe Stadium," it adds.

The 20-time Congo Linafoot champions also addressed future participation contingencies.

"If a regional or sub-regional organization officially requests the participation of the Ravens in a competition, the management will analyze the opportunity and communicate the team's availability or lack thereof based on the resumption timetable," it concluded.

TP Mazembe's announcement follows the withdrawal of Tanzania's Azam FC from the 16-team tournament.

Azam FC, two-time CECAFA Kagame Cup winners, have opted out of the competition to focus on their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Thabit Zakaria, Azam’s head of media, confirmed the decision in an interview with Azam TV.

Azam recently secured second place in the Premier League standings, edging out Simba on goal difference with a 2-0 away victory against Geita Gold.

The achievement granted them the right to join champions Young Africans as Mainland Tanzania's representatives in the CAF Champions League next season.

The CECAFA Kagame Cup boasts a rich history, with Tanzania’s Simba SC holding the record for the most titles at six.

They are followed by archrivals Young Africans (Yanga) SC and Kenya's Tusker FC, with five titles each.

Other notable winners include Rwanda's APR FC, Sudan's Al Merriekh, Uganda's SC Villa, and Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC, each with three titles.