Five days after confirming Coach Gilbert Yaounde Kanyankole and Eric Nshimiyimana as interim coaches of the Amavubi team, the Ministry of Sports and Culture has sacked the duo ahead of the team’s camp scheduled to start on Wednesday.
The development was confirmed on Tuesday morning by Veteran coach Kanyankole after being summoned by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports of Culture, Lt Col Patrice Rugambwa.
Kanyankole said, “We are from attending the meeting with the Ministry’s officials. They confirmed to us (Kanyankole and Nshimiyimana) that we are no longer national team coaches,”
“We have not been given any reason and we have respected their decision,” added Kanyankole.
Efforts of getting a comment from the Minispoc’s PS Rugambwa was futile as he could not return repeated calls from this paper.
The decision to sack the duo who had signed a one-year contract late last week after being appointed as replacements for Northern Ireland Johnathan McKinstry is not clear.
The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) who are in charge of football affairs in the country is unaware of the development.
The FERWAFA’s Acting Secretary General Felicite Rwemalika was left surprised when Rwandaeye contacted her for an interview.
“She said, “We are unaware of the development. The decision was not taken by Ferwafa. Let’s wait for official letter from the Ministry confirming the development, then Ferwafa will inform the public on the matter,”
Kanyankole had replaced McKinstry who was relieved of his duties on Thursday, five months into his new two-year contract which was renewed in March this year.
Kanyankole had signed a one-year framework contract that will entail him to work only when Amavubi have commitments and not as a full time employee.
He would be assisted by Amavubi legends Eric Nshimiyimana and Jimmy Mulisa who belong to the golden generation that qualified for Afcon 2004 in Tunisia, the only time Rwanda has been to the continent’s premier competition.
Meanwhile, the national team is expected to regroup tomorrow at La Palisse Hotel Nyandungu before holding their first training session later in the afternoon.
Among the summoned team, APR Fc has the most composition with 11 players following their recent competitive participation in the EAC Military Games held in Rwanda last week.
New faces on the senior national team are defenders Iradukunda Eric (AS Kigali), Nsabimana Aimable (APR Fc), midfielders Nkizingabo Fiston (APR Fc), Niyonzima Olivier (Rayon Sports), and Buteera Andrew (APR Fc) who returns to the fold after a long time and Twizeyimana Onesme who recently joined APR Fc from AS Kigali.
Tanzanian based-duo of Mugiraneza Jean Baptista (Azam Fc) and skipper Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga) as well as Kenya’s Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge are the only foreign-based players summoned to the squad and they are expected to join camp on Saturday.
Despite being knocked out of contention for a place in 2017 Africa Nations’ Cup final due in Gabon, Rwanda will be aiming for a win against hosts Ghana in bid to revive their poor Fifa rankings. Rwanda is currently ranked 121st in the latest release.
Rwanda blew their only chance to book a ticket to Afcon 2017 in Gabon when they lost 1-0 to Mauritius in Belle Vue in March before succumbing to a relentless Mozambique 3-2 in Kigali in June. The squandered six points would have brought their tally to 12 and among the few nations tussling for best second placed side in 11 qualifying groups.
Benin Republic currently lead the best second placed teams standings with 11 points while Tunisia, Uganda and Central African Republic are tied on 10 points with a +10, +3 and +1 goal difference in that order.