Kagame Cup to be held in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is to host the 2013 regional football club championship, popularly known as the Kagame Cup, in late June.

Ethiopia had originally requested to hold the annual event in September but was requested to bring the date forward by the Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).

The tournament, which takes place following a number of qualifier matches for the 2014 World Cup, will be a boost to football in Ethiopia whose national team participated in this year's Africa Cup of Nations after a 31-year absence from the tournament.

Since 2002 the main sponsor of the annual club championship is the controversial president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame who provides the $60,000 prize money. The winning club receives $30,000; runners-up get $20,000 while the third-placed team gets $10,000.

In addition to Kagame’s sponsorship, in 2012 Tanzania’s Quality Chemicals pledged to donate an extra $20,000 of prize money annually.

For the last two consecutive years, the Kagame Cup has been won by the Young Africans, a Dar es Salaam-based squad known locally as Yanga.

Prior to this year’s Kagame Cup, Ethiopia and Egypt will play a friendly match on 25 May in the Addis Ababa Stadium, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner of the African Union (AU).