Cecafa challenge: CECAFA starts as Raila graces the event

CECAFA- Raila NASA leader Raila Odinga greeting Rwanda team players at Bukhungu. BY BENJAMIN SAKWA

Raila graces Stars match

Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup started on a high note as the refurbished Bukhungu stadium hosted the opening match between Kenya and Rwanda.

Hundreds of football fans, including NASA leader Raila Odinga, thronged the stadium to witness the home team Harambee Stard take the sting out of Amavubi (Wasps) of Rwanda 2-0.

Cheers rent the air as Raila accompanied by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, FKF president Nick Mwendwa, among other officials, arrived at the packed stadium.

Fans roared ‘Baba’ as Raila waved back at them.

The cheering fans made him rise to wave at them as they enjoyed the match which ended in Stars' favour.

Sh500 for VIP and Sh100 for the terraces charges did not deter football fans from the region from watching the game.

Surging crowd

At one point, police officers were unable to control the surging crowd at the main gates as some of the fans jumped over the perimeter wall to access the terraces.

And when it started raining, the fans braved the heavy rains to watch the game as it was the first time for Harambee star to play in the Kakamega stadium.

Those sitting on the terraces forced themselves to the VIP section to shelter themselves against the downpour.

Kenya scored its first goal at the 32nd minute causing the fans including Raila to rise to celebrate the goal.

While addressing media, Robert Sumbi, the County Executive member for Sports lauded the national team for the win.

“The Stars have made us proud as a country. The win against Rwanda is a good start and we are expecting to reach the finals and win it,” said Sumbi.

He said the tournament had boosted business in the town as hoteliers and transport operators were making a kill. [Alex Wakhisi]

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