Amavubi coach starts player selection for CHAN and AFCON qualifiers


Hey's main task is to lead Rwanda to the 2018 CHAN and 2019 AFCON finals tournaments in Kenya and Cameroon, respectively. (Courtesy)

Rwanda national football team (Amavubi) will enter residential camp on May 29 to start preparations for the upcoming CAF competitions qualifiers, which will start in June, head coach Antoine Hey told Times Sport on Tuesday.

Hey’s main task is to lead Rwanda to the 2018 CHAN and 2019 AFCON finals tournaments in Kenya and Cameroon, respectively. He will be in charge of the U-23 and the Olympics team as they try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“I am assessing all players that I will be using in the next competitions. I am looking for the players that we will use in the upcoming matches of AFCON, CHAN and Olympic team,” Hey told Times Sport.

The German tactician added that all the selected players will undergo a fitness test on May 4 before entering the official training camp on May 29.

He noted that, “We have been identifying the players we will be using and we are looking for players who are on the level that we require to prepare them for the upcoming qualifying competitions.”

Hey was appointed Amavubi head coach in March after beating off competition from Raoul Savoy (Switzerland) and Rui Aguas (Portugal), who made the final three-man shortlist after a rigorous vetting process.

Rwanda was drawn in Group H for AFCON 2019 along with Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Central African Republic. Amavubi will be looking to qualify for the second time having made its debut in 2004, in Tunisia.

Amavubi will start the campaign for AFCON Cameroon 2019 finals in June when they play away to Central Africa on June 5-13 while Cote d’Ivoire host Guinea in Abidjan. The remaining match days will be staged between March, 2018 until November, 2018.

The winner of each group alongside the best three second placed teams will qualify for the tournament and hosts Cameroon will also be part of the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, the road to Kenya 2018 CHAN finals will see Hey lead Amavubi against Tanzania in the second qualification round in July. The first leg is scheduled to be played between July 14 -16 in Dar es Salaam before the return leg in Kigali on the weekend of July 21-23.

The winner between Rwanda and Tanzania will take on Uganda, who are the favourites to go past the winner between South Sudan and Somalia in the second round.

The second round winners will meet in the third round where only eventual winners will qualify to represent the Central and East Zone, alongside hosts Kenya.

The CHAN tournament, which is reserved for players who feature in their respective domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged from January 11 to February 2.

Rwanda made its second appearance in the competition when they hosted the 2016 edition reaching the quarter-finals before losing 1-2 in extra time to eventual winners, DR Congo.