In Summary
  • The former Nation journalist joined football administration in 2000 when he was appointed Cecafa secretary during the Fifa General Assembly held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Brutally honest administrator calls it quits after 20 years in charge
  • Emotional outgoing SG sets sights on higher education, mulls dive into politics

Nicholas Musonye has announced he will soon stand down as the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) secretary general after two decades at the helm.

In an exclusive interview with Nation Sport conducted yesterday at the Beausejour hotel in Kigali, the long serving football administrator further explained he plans to pursue a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) course.

He also confirmed his interest in trying his hand in politics.

“I have gathered a lot of experience, exposure and contacts around the world over the past two decades, and would wish to share most of it with my people in Kakamega while serving as their governor. I am certain they will give me the opportunity,” an emotional Musonye said.

“I have friends who have asked me to vie in Nairobi so I will think over it and make an announcement soon.”

The former Nation journalist joined football administration in 2000 when he was appointed Cecafa secretary during the Fifa General Assembly held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“It’s been twenty years since. A lot has happened.”

“From a shell of a competition and structure, we have worked very hard and managed to organise several high profile competitions including the Senior Challenge Cup and Kagame Cup.

“Our team secured relationships and sponsorships from blue chip companies such as Tusker, MTN, SuperSport, GTV, Serengeti Breweries and of course Azam TV. We also receive one million dollars (about Sh100 million) each year to organise youth and women tournaments, and about half of that to run our secretariat.”

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye (right) and Azam TV media officer Mdagano Faradhallah during a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda on July 20, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye (right) and Azam TV media officer Mdagano Faradhallah during a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda on July 20, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY |

“We groomed Mariga (Mcdonald), Dennis Oliech, Victor Wanyama, Michael Olunga, Dennis Onyango and other talents including half of the current national football team players who competed at the Africa Cup of Nations.”

“I leave Cecafa in good hands and request those who will take over to continue organising tournaments and showcasing talent. Despite the hard work, football standards in this region are among the lowest and we witnessed this during the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. We have club tournaments and the Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda in December and I am urging national teams to register and participate.”

Founded in 1927 and with a secretariat in Nairobi, Cecafa consists 12 member football associations namely Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar.

During his stint as secretary general, Musonye has served under five elected Cecafa presidents including Tanzanian Leodegar Tenga, the late Farah Addo from Somalia, the late Ugandan David Obua and incumbent Jafar Mutasim from Sudan.

He will officially step down in June next year and asks that his replacement be named in conformity with the new Confederation of African Football (Caf) rules.

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