Nairobi, Jan 31: Kenya will be back in contention for a slot in the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN), having bypassed the chance to host the 2018 edition to Morocco.
In the fixtures released by Confederation of African Football (CAF), Kenya's Harambee Stars, which is led by French coach Sebastien Migne, will play host to the Burundi Swallows in Nairobi in the first leg. The return match is slated for Bujumbura.
"Forty-seven teams are engaged in the battle for 15 places to join host Ethiopia for the final tournament of its sixth edition, designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues," said CAF president Ahmad Ahmad on Thursday in a statement.
The east African Zone will have eight teams engage in a bruising battle in which the best two will secure the tickets to Ethiopia for the finals.
East Africa zone has Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Somalia.
Kenya is yet to qualify for this tournament and forfeited the chance to play in it when CAF handed it host rights only for the government to fail to prepare the stadiums in time. CAF then moved the tournament to Morocco.
East Africa region has since been compensated with Ethiopia awarded the chance to stage the event in 2020. "The qualifiers' dates will be announced by CAF at a later date," CAF said.
The format of the competition remains unchanged and will be played on a zonal basis to determine the finalists for Ethiopia.
The Africa Nations Championship is a biennial football tournament restricted to players featuring in their respective home leagues. (UNI)