NAIROBI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Zambia, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo will send teams to join other 11 member States of the Council of East and central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) for this year's regional Kagame Cup.
Nicholas Musonye, CECAFA Secretary General, confirmed that Tanzanian clubs Simba and Yanga have opted out of the 16-team tournament, which starts in Kigali, Rwanda from July 6-21.
"It is unfortunate that some Tanzanian clubs are giving the tournament a bye. We will not miss them. Let them go. They will fail to utilize the opportunity to have their players gain experience against some top teams from the region. We are not bothered nor moved by their exit," Musonye said on Monday in Nairobi.
CECAFA has teams from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Zanzibar, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Musonye however said the void left by the two Tanzanian teams will be filled by the foreign teams that have been invited.
Already Malawi's Big Bullets, Zesco United of Zambia, DRC's AS Vita and Motema Pemba have confirmed participation in the tournament as guest teams.
The annual club tournament returns after it was shelved last year owing to logistical challenges and lack of funding. This year's tournament will be funded by Rwanda president with a prize purse of 60,000 U.S. dollars.
Kenya will be represented by two teams - Gor Mahia who finished third in the last edition held in Dar es Salaam and Bandari.
"We shall spread the matches in Kigali City, Rubavu and Huye Districts to enable the citizens of Rwanda and neighboring countries attend the match in the stadium and watch matches Live," added Musonye.
Defending champions Azam SC and KMC will represent Tanzania with Uganda will sending KCCA and Proline. Rayon Sport and Apr represent Rwanda, Somali's Heegan, Ports of Djibouti and Zanzibar's KMKM will be the other participating teams.
The tournament will offer the teams a platform to gauge their preparedness ahead of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League and Confederations Cup which are due in August.