The highly beamed coming to Rwanda of internationally renowned football stars this weekend is shielded in controversy, Times Sports can reveal.
Both parties involved in the hosting of the charity game that is scheduled for Amahoro national stadium tomorrow are tight tipped about the stars’ coming.
When contacted the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports Joseph Habineza referred Times Sports to Lotto Rwanda the company that initiated the idea of the event.
Recently the Ministry of youth, Culture and Sport (Mijespoc) in conjunction with Lotto Rwanda revealed that they were planning to host a contingent of European professional players this weekend.
Habineza fails to comment
The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Joseph Habineza said then that the professional players are expected to jet into the country on the weekend of October 13 ahead of a planned charity match to be played on the same weekend.
“We hope to invite a full squad and presently some few players have confirmed to come but we are still contacting other professional players to make the squad,” Minister Habineza revealed.
He noted, “When here, those professionals will play in a charity match against either the national team or a select side from the top local clubs in the country.”
The youthful minister emphasized that the visit by the African and French stars is aimed at boosting Rwandan football to a more standard level as well as improving the country’s bilateral relationship with their respective countries of origin.
Habineza added that the final squad of players who will make the Rwanda trip will be availed to the media on October 1.
However when contacted yesterday the Minister was tipped lipped on the matter referring Times Sports to Lotto Rwanda.
Lotto Rwanda’s Managing Director, Philip Brizilia also refused to comment on the matter saying that everything concerned with the stars’ tour will be revealed during a press conference that is scheduled for today.
Lotto Rwanda which is behind the players’ invitation was recently embodied in controversial national lottery.
Lotto Rwanda Managing Director, Philip Brizilia said recently that the process of inviting players was still in its infancy thus opting to release the whole details once the players have confirmed their willingness and desire to come to Rwanda.
“We were planning to invite Europe-based professional players to come to Rwanda and feature in a charity match but this will be possible if they respond positively towards our invitation,” Brizilia said.
Players expected to come
According to the initial plan several top past and present African football stars plying their trade in the top European league are expected in the country this weekend.
Some of the players who have been contacted according to the organisers include: Togolese-born Arsenal striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, Ivory Coast and Chelsea forward Didier Drogba, Nigeria and Portsmouth striker Nkwanko Kanu, Ivory Coast’s Aruna Dindane, Cameroon and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o Fils as well as retired French playmakers Zinedine Zidane and Bazil Boli.
However several of the listed players basing on the information available to Times Sports are ruled out.
Samuel Eto is currently nursing an injury that has ruled him out of action for several months at Spanish La Liga giants Fc Barcelona.
And others are limited by this weekend’s Euro 2008 and African Cup of Nations’ qualifiers.
CAA has no idea
When contacted the for comment on the stars coming the Civil Aviation Authority Director General Joshua Mbaraga denied any knowledge of the stars coming.
“We haven’t been informed of any arrival of any European football stars into the country” Mbaraga said.