Excitement has engulfed Eastern Africa after a total of nine clubs learnt their pooling following the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League Zonal Qualifiers Draw on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya.
With the highest number of teams in a single qualifying competition for the first ever continental event for women’s clubs in Africa, the CECAFA Zonal Qualifiers are expected to provide fireworks and drama when the tournament kicks off on July 17 through to 30.
Ugandan champions Lady Doves have been drawn in Group A alongside PVP FC of Burundi and Simba Queens from Tanzania.
“Speaking to CAF Online, Lady Doves captain Leticia Nabbosa pointed out that, “We are well prepared for this tournament and our target is to go to Kenya and win all our games and return home as champions.”
In Group B, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) FC will be up against Yei Joint Stars FC from South Sudan and Zanzibar champions New Generation FC.
All eyes will be on the CBE tie against Yei Joint Stars as the two teams look to stir a new rivalry between the two neighbouring countries built in April when Ethiopia defeated South Sudan 11-0 in an international friendly in Addis Ababa.
Meanwhile, Rwandan champions Scandinavian WFC, FAD from Djibouti and Vihiga Queens of Kenya will battle it out in Group C.
For Scandinavia, who by winning the league title ended AS Kigali’s 10-year reign at the helm of women’s football in Rwanda, this is an opportunity to further spread their wings into the East African region for a place at the high table of continental football.
Vihiga Queens will be hoping that playing at home comes with its good luck charm while FAD have an opportunity to venture into new waters as they face their biggest challenge thus far since their creation.
The winner of this tournament will qualify for the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League which will be held in Egypt later this year.