Forward Meddie Kagere has said he is looking forward to playing for the Amavubi again.
Kagere, 32, who currently plies his trade with Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, was speaking yesterday after he completed his naturalization process.
Kagere, originally from Uganda, was sworn in as Rwandan at the City Hall in Kigali Tuesday, the climax of a process that opens the door for his possible return to the Amavubi fold.
“It’s an amazing feeling to get Rwandan citizenship because I had waited for this day for a long time,” he said. “I cannot wait to pull on the shirt (of Amavubi) again and to play for Rwanda again,” he added.
Kagera, who earned his first cap for Amavubi in 2011 and went on to score ten goals in ten appearances for the national team, was one of the players who were stripped of citizenship a few years ago after it emerged that many foreign players had acquired Rwandan passports illegitimately.
The decision to withdraw citizenship from more than 60 footballers came after Rwanda was disqualified from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for using a player with double identity – striker Dady Birori, who also holds a Congolese passport under the name Agiti Tady Etakiama.
Kagere previously played for several Rwandan clubs, including Rayon Sports, SC Kiyovu Police FC and the now-defunct Atraco FC. He also featured for Uganda’s Mbale Heroes and Masaka LC, as well as Tunisian side Esperance Sportive de Zarzis.
“I am very happy and ready to play again for Amavubi,” he said. ‘I’m happy that my efforts have paid off. I did everything possible to get this (nationality) certificate. I know I have what it takes to play again for Rwanda and I will continue working hard to earn my place in the team,” he added.
Kagere was initially supposed to be among the people who were sworn in as Rwandans Monday but a delayed flight meant he had to wait longer.
Some of the footballers who completed their naturalisation process this week include Hussein Cyiza (Mukura), Jimmy Mashingirwa ‘Mbaraga’ Kibengo (AS Kigali), Andre Fils Lomami (Kiyovu) and Peter ‘Kagabo’ Otema (Musanze).