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UK Dispatch | The Ethiopian Airlines African Cup of Nations UK Kicks Off Saturday May 31st to 14th June 2014

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Posted May 19, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Diaspora Dispatch ~ 1,649 views

     

The African Nations Cup UK is an African football competition contested by both the youth and adult men from African communities based in the UK. The first of a kind in Europe this competition has now grown into an annual fiesta drawing thousands who unite in support of their local national football teams. The African Nations Cup 2013 was won by Ghana’s shooting stars after defeating Sierra Leone.

Ugandan Cranes UK, the national football team representing Ugandans in the UK Diaspora last won this most prestigious football tournament in 2011. However this year the team has regrouped in preparation for the 2014 African Nations Cup UK sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines, The Pride of Africa in the new sponsorship deal that has seen the tournament being branded as The Ethiopian Airlines African Nations Cup UK.

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The tournament is scheduled to begin on 31st May – 14th June at West Ham Memorial Grounds.

Mohammed Ali, Senior Sales Representative of Ethiopian, joined dignitaries and representatives from African Embassies in the UK at an event on April 17th as the all-important draws for the 20 participating countries took place at the Headquarters of The English FA, Wembley Stadium. The FA Head of Inclusion and Community Development, Kevin Coleman conducted the draws with assistance from two celebrated African stars, Pauline Long, a renowned UK Pan African TV presenter and Erick Ochieng, a professional boxer from Kenya.

Uganda Cranes is coached by Kasim Musa Baghdad and Robert Kabuye the former KCC Head coach. A 25 man squad has been called and selected from the FUFA UK set of six teams: Cranes United FC, Kobs United FC, Hippos FC, Cranes FC, London Simba FC and Stratford Juniors FC. Uganda is in Group A alongside Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa and will start its campaign in a must win game against Zimbabwe on Saturday 31st May at 11am UK time. The team is also supported by The Uganda High Commission and The Uganda Youth Forum.

uk africans

At this year’s tournament, the first ever Ugandan fun fair day will be introduced. Vuvuzellas, Nyama kyoma, cheer leading and music entertainment will all be on the menu.

Dennis Kirunda — About the Founder of the African Nations Cup UK 

Dennis Kirunda received a gold medal and a certification to mark his contribution to “grassroots football development and uniting communities” from Prince William in 2013. Kirunda, who arrived in the UK in 2001, says he set up the Africa Cup of Nations UK (AFCON UK) “to unite African communities in the UK using football as a tool”.  The AFCON UK tournament which is now in its sixth year received the royal seal of approval from the Duke of Cambridge who was standing in for his grandmother the Queen on Thursday (Oct 17 2013) Kirunda, whose father Jimmy Kirunda played for the Ugandan national team in the 1970s, said he was told by the second in line to the UK throne to “keep it up” in a nervous “30-second talk” with the Prince. Dennis Kirunda will also be celebrated at this year’s Ugandan Diaspora GALA held at Kampala Serena Hotel on 30th December 2014.

Group Draws:

Group A: Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania
Group B: Sierra Leone, Angola, Zanzibar, Zambia and Somalia.
Group C: Nigeria, Algeria, Gambia, Rwanda and Cameroon.
Group D: Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and Guinea Bissau


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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