Karia said that he has been advised by the CECAFA executive and CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, to run for the ailing regional body’s presidency.
“I have been urged by my fellow CECAFA executives to go for the top seat. When I met CAF president, Ahmad earlier this year he urged me to vie for such posts. It is upon the advice and faith of my colleagues that I will vie for the CECAFA presidency in elections slated for December 18 in Kampala,’’ he was quoted saying.
The TFF boss also confirmed Kenya’s Nicholas Musonye is standing down as secretary-general of CECAFA after two decades at the helm. Reports already indicate Musonye will be replaced by a fellow Kenyan.
Musonye, who leads the operations of the secretariat based in Nairobi which receives from FIFA one million and half US dollars each to organize youth and women tournaments, had earlier confirmed he will quit his position.
The injection of FIFA grants has seen CECAFA organize various tournaments as it seeks to improve its fortunes. Despite being the oldest sub-regional football organization on the continent, CECAFA member states’ teams remain the worst ranked globally.
Teams from CECAFA members have often been found wanting in terms of qualifying for big tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the African Cup of Nations.
With the expanded tournaments, though, three teams, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, qualified for the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt.
The election will be held a day before the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final. The tournament kicks off in Kampala on December 7.
It remains to be seen if the incumbent CECAFA president Sudan’s Mutasim Jaffar will forward his name for re-election.
Jaffar, who has served a four-year term, was elected in a poll held in Ethiopia on November 20, 2015.
So far nobody else is interested and Kenya wants to keep the secretariat which gives Karia a big chance of becoming the next CECAFA president unopposed.
If he succeeds in his bid, Karia will become the second Tanzanian to lead CECAFA after Leodger Tenga had served as president between 2007 when he was first elected and later stepped down in 2015.
The regional body is composed of 12 member nations, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, Zanzibar and Djibouti.