The Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) has invited the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) under 23 football team to participate in the Challenge Cup slated for next month as a guest nation.

The tournament which is strictly for the stated age bracket will kick off in the town of Bahir Dar, in Ethiopia between July 3 to July 18.

Cecafa executive Director Auka Gacheo confirmed DRC participation to Nairobi News, saying the country’s football association had put in a request which has since been granted.

The teams’ entrance is expected to heighten the competitiveness of the regional tourney.

“DR Congo have requested to play and we have allowed them to play as a guest side,” said Gacheo in an interview with Caf online.

Kenya will also grace the competition with the under 23 team expected to hit camp in the coming weeks. Other participants apart from Kenya and Ethiopia are Uganda, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Burundi, Rwanda, and Somalia.

“We are moving on well and Ethiopia is putting everything in place so that they host a successful tournament,” he added.

The member nations are expected to pay a Sh2.1 million registration fee to aid in the preparation of the tournament and relevant costs.

This is the second team for DRC to grace the event in as many years after AS Maniema and TP Mazembe competed at the 2019 Cecafa Kagame Cup in Rwanda.

These appearances come amid reports the DRC will soon be allowed into the East African Community.



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