The best football clubs in East Africa has always been up for debate looking at the top performance of clubs in African continental competitions.
Ranking from region competitions including the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederations Cup and Sub-regional competitions like the CECAFA Club Cup.
Most especially clubs from Tanzania have for long made impressive outings in continental competitions.
Some of the most lucrative leagues outside North Africa can be found in East Africa with Tanzania in focus.
In terms of Subregional football in Africa, East African football is merged with some teams from the central part of the continent, governed by a single body known as the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).
CECAFA is made up of twelve member nations
The countries include Burundi,
Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar.
The leagues from Tanzania stands out as one of the best and most competitive.
Although one would say East Africa has little or no competition, it is very wrong to consider the region in such a manner.
Opening the eyes of African football followers, Eastern African football clubs have consistently continued to build on themselves in terms of exposure, organization and performance at the continental level.
The Tanzanian league, Ugandan league, Sundanese league as well as Rwandan leagues have continued to grow year after year.
The region also boasts of clubs like Simba SC, Al Hilal, Al-Merrikh SC, Rayon Sports, SC Villa, Vipers, AS Kigali, Vital’O, APR, Gor Mahia, AFC Leopard, etc.
Highlighting the top best football clubs in East Africa according to Statistics in overall and recent performance in CAF and regional tournaments like CECAFA Club Cups.
The ranking is based on performance in CAF club competitions at least in the past two seasons, domestic league and CECAFA Sub-regional tournament.
*Performance in CAF Competitions League recently
*Performance in CAF Confederations Cup recently
*Performance in CECAFA Club Cup recently
*Domestic league recently
Here are the top best football clubs in East Africa in 2021 Statically Ranked
1. Simba SC – Tanzania
Simba Sports Club is arguably the best football club in East Africa at this point, looking back at the team’s overall performance across domestic and international competitions including the Tanzanian league and CAF Club competitions.
Simba SC Tanzanian professional football club based in the country’s capital city of Dar es Salaam widely known for its dominance in the country’s domestic competitions.
Simba Sports Club was also known as Sunderland before its rebranding.
It is one of the two biggest clubs in Tanzania along with Young Africans also regarded as one of the best in the country.
Simba Sports Club has won 21 Tanzania league titles and has won the last three titles consecutive times. ( 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20).
The club’s performance in the Sub-region has been overwhelming. In the Traditional CECAFA Sub-regional football tournament, Simba has won six trophies.
But the last time it was lifted by the club was in 2002, even though Azam FC have emerged as new dominators of the competition.
In 2003, history was made as Simba SC eliminated Egyptian heavyweights El Zamalek to reach the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
In 2019, the club achieved another milestone by getting to the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League despite having the likes of JS Saoura, AS Vita Club and Al Ahly Egypt in the group.
In 2021, Simba SC had another historic outing since its establishment as a professional football club in Tanzania in the modern era of the Championship League in Africa.
Seeded in Group A alongside Al Ahly, AS Vita Club and Al Merrikh which was regarded as the group of death, the incredible Simba SC qualified to the quarter-finals as winners of the group, edging Al Ahly Egypt who finished the group as second runners up.
It was indeed a memorable outing for the Tanzanian professional football club, representing the country and East Africa at the continental level.
Simba SC is the best football club in East Africa with a huge pedigree at the continental level.
It has been a remarkable achievement for Simba SC in CAF competitions.
The club has enjoyed a steady rise over the years and has been consistent.
Simba remains the best club in the history of Tanzania football having some of the best players on the continent.
From Sunderland to Simba, the best club of all time in Tanzania followed by Young Africans.
Mere looking at it, Simba SC is the doorway of Tanzania to not just Africa, but the world in general.
The club has singlehandedly elevated the status of Tanzanian club football to another level.
If there’s any other domestic league in Africa worth mentioning, the Tanzanian Ligi Kuu Bara has been doing well is worth making the list.
As per publication on Goal.com, Tanzania has one of the best lucrative leagues in Africa as a notable club in the country pay as high as $4000 as salary to players.
The article also explains sign-on fees which rise to about $40,000.
Ranking the best players right now in East Africa, Simba SC boost of having some of the best legs only to face a tough battle with Al Hilal Omdurman, Al-Merrikh and Young Africans.
Constant development and the need to prioritize players and performance over lucrative offers from Europe have helped the club preserve some of its best players from leaving.
This has further elevated the team to its current status as one of the top performers and teams to watch in Africa.
2. Al-Hilal Club (Omdurman)
Al Hilal is a professional football club of Sudan and competes in the Sudanese Football Premier League.
The outfit has been one of the country’s top performance over the past years both domestic and continental competitions.
In total, the club has won 27 Sundanese league title which is a record, making them one of the most successful clubs in the history of club football in the country.
At the continental stage, they are one of the best performers on the African continent alongside North African giants including El Zamalek, Al Ahly Egypt, Etoile Sportive du Sahel, ES Setif, Wydad Casablanca, etc.
The club has always reached the group stages of competitions. Like in the last two previous campaigns, they finished in the group stages.
In 2019, Al-Hilal reached the Semifinals of the CAF Confederations Cup before they were eventually eliminated.
Although no Continent trophy in its trophy cabinet, Hilal is still recognized as one of the best football clubs on the African continent to date owning to clubs involvements and performance.
In CECAFA Sub-regional football tournament, Al Hilal have a low record. The last it participated was in 1999, reaching the quarter-finals.
Omdurman has continued to replicate its existing record at the continental stage without failing to make a mark whenever they play in the Champions League or Confederations Cup.
In 2021, Al Hilal Omdurman got to the group stages of the CAF Champions League, but could not make it to the next round after finishing third.
3. Kampala Capital City Authority FC
Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club abbreviated for short as KCCA is a Ugandan professional football club based in the country’s capital city of Kampala.
The club competes in the Uganda Premier League. In total, Kampala City has won 13 league titles, 10 Ugandan FA Cup and a single Super 8 trophy.
KCCA has had two CECAFA Clubs Cup with the recent triumph in 2019.
At the continental level, it has been steady progress for the Capital City Club.
In 2017, it saw an unexpected spike in form, reaching the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup.
The following year was another remarkable achievement in the CAF Champions League, advancing to the Group stages which was an improvement from the previous season.
In the 2020/2021 CAF Confederations Cup, KCCA were eliminated by AS Kigali in the first round.
It is currently regarded as one of the big sides of Uganda football.
Kampala City is one of the rookies of African football, but have kept on springing impressive results year after year.
In Uganda, it has been a battle for the domestic league alongside Vipers and SC Villa.
With consistency, KCCA could turn out to be the next pioneer club of Uganda, and possibly overtake or improve on an existing record set by SC Villa and Vipers.
4. Al-Merrikh SC
Al-Merrikh Sporting Club is a professional football club based in Omdurman. It is one of the oldest football clubs in Africa, founded in 1908.
Al-Merrikh SC has won a total of 16 Sundanese league titles with another 14 titles in the country’s national FA Cup.
Today, it is regarded as one of the best club in Sudan alongside Al Hilal Omdurman who has been a pioneer club in the country.
Al-Merrikh SC has appeared in the last five continental competitions. In the 2021 CAF Champions League campaign, the club reached the group stages of the competition, but could not advance to the next round.
In Sudan, Al-Merrikh forms a fierce rivalry with city rivals Al Hilal Omdurman which is the country’s most successful and the strongest over the years.
After Al Hilal, Al-Merrikh is the next Sundanese football club on the block and have not failed to make it through the group stages over the years.
5. Young Africans
Young Africans Sports Club is a Tanzanian professional football club based in Jangwani, Dar es Salaam, the country capital city.
Young Africans regarded as one of the most successful football club in Tanzania alongside Simba SC who has been the top pioneer Tanzanian football club on the African continent over years and is also regarded as the best in East Africa.
A total of 22 league titles in the club’s trophy cabinet with the recent triumph during the 2016–17 season.
Young Africans have appeared in the CAF Champions League eleven times. In 2016 and 2018, Young Africans advanced to the Group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup, achieving a milestone on the African continent.
At CECAFA Sub-regional tournaments, the club has won five titles.
It could be the turn of Simba SC to shine, but Young Africans remains a household name across the African continent for its performance in time past.
East Africa clubs have an enjoyed impressive outings in CAF club competitions recently with teams like Simba SC, Al Hilal, Al-Merrikh SC and KCCA making the headlines.
The article ranks the best football clubs in East Africa according to Statistics obtained in CAF, domestic and CECAFA regional performance.
Ibiye is a football fan. Follows everything related to football. Writes about the latest news, features and interesting articles. Follow me and upgrade your lifestyle when it comes to football