What you need to know:
- Kenyan champions must fast earn ticket through Cecafa qualifiers in Jul-Aug
- Final tourney will feature 8 teams
Vihiga Queens chances of qualifying for the inaugural CAF Women’s League proper has been enhanced following nomination of Kenya as hosts of the Cecafa region tournament to pick their representative for the continental showdown.
Vihiga Queens are the reigning Football Kenya Federation Women Premier League champions.
Football Kenya Federation CEO Barry Otieno disclosed they had accepted Cecafa’s request to host the region’s qualifiers between July 17 and August 1.
Eleven teams from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Rwanda, Burundi, Zanzibar and the hosts Kenya will fight it out for the single berth reserved for the region in the Women’s Champions League.
The other CAF zones, Council of South African Football Association (Cosafa), Union of Football Federations of Central Africa (Uniffac), West African Football Union (Wafu) and Union of North African Football Association (Unaf) will also organise their qualifying tournaments to pick representatives to the championship.
Six teams will qualify via the zonal competitions with two other clubs -- from the host nation and one from a tournament featuring best losers from the regions, being added to make an eight-team champions League.
These final eight teams will then be divided into two groups of four teams each.
"In view of the foregoing and taking into consideration that Vihiga Queens are the reigning champions of the FKF Women Premier League, we are pleased to inform you that you will be representing Kenya in the aforementioned competition. Therefore, we wish to request your club to start preparations in earnest,” Otieno officially communicated to Vihiga Queens.
The Vihiga-based football queens have dominated the national Women Premier League for three years consecutively in addition to producing key players for Harambee Starlets.
“The team is extremely psyched up with this announcement but our only wish right now is getting a way of training and build-up matches since sports activities are still under suspension in the country," Vihiga Queens coach Alex Alumirah told Nation Sport.
“But getting this opportunity is big for us and we plan to find a way around it to ensure that we are in good form to fight for glory.”
Before sports was suspended in March this year, Vihiga Queens were perched atop the Zone “B” table with 28 points from nine wins and one draw.
The team is associated with the likes of midfielder Cynthia Shilwatso, who was part of the squad that helped Kenya clench the 2019 Cecafa title. She is currently playing for Spanish side EDF Logrono.
There is also, Lilian Adera, who featured for Kenya in their maiden appearance at AWCON in 2016.