Newly crowned Tanzanian Premier League champions Simba SC have withdrawn from the 2019 CECAFA Kagame Cup with the focus being put to concentrating on pre-season training ahead of the 2019/2020 season.
The Patrick Aussems coached side had to take part in the forthcoming regional tournament but they turned it down claiming they are preparing for a title defense in the upcoming season.
“Simba SC would like to inform stakeholders as well as our fans that the club will not be participating in the upcoming CECAFA Kagame Cup,” the club said in a statement.
“The main reason why we will not be taking part in the tournament is the short period of time we will have for pre-season ahead of the start of the next season,” the statement continues.
Simba who last won the competition in 2002, also cited the short period between the conclusion of last season and the start of the 2019/20 domestic season as another reason for their withdrawal from the tournament.
The 2018/2019 StarTimes Uganda Premier League Champions KCCA FC, Zesco United of Zambia, AS Vita Club and Motema Pembe from Democratic Republic of Congo have already confirmed their participation in the tournament.
Rwanda being the hosts will be represented by Rayon Sports, APR and Mukura at the tournament to be held in Kigali between July 6th and 21st.
The tournament is competed by teams from the CECAFA region members of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
The winner of the annual tournament which is mainly financed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, will walk home with prize money worth $30,000, Tanzania’s Azam FC are the reigning champions.