[EDITORIAL] FERWAFA should go back to the drawing board

One of our regular columnists broached another chapter in our very painful sporting journey; football. When one closely looks at the country’s football history, it is not difficult to be convinced that a lot of money has gone down the drain due to a wrong approach and hunger for a quick fix.

One of our regular columnists broached another chapter in our very painful sporting journey; football.

When one closely looks at the country’s football history, it is not difficult to be convinced that a lot of money has gone down the drain due to a wrong approach and hunger for a quick fix.

For many years the country depended on foreign players to boost its ranks, but that practice was done away with a couple of years ago with a focus on nurturing local talent.

The government’s goodwill has accompanied Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) all along the way, making sure it lacked nothing. The same can be said for other sports associations.

Unlike in many countries where teams are always battling financial demons, bickering over unpaid bonuses, the government has always been there for the teams.

So, what is the missing link? For, unlike other football Meccas, it is rare to find kids playing on any available patch of ground or low-traffic neighbourhood streets.

There are no interschool sports events that could help identify talent at the grass roots, where will the rare gems be unveiled?

It is not the handful of privately-run football academies that will unlock the potentials of future talent. It needs a focused FERWAFA.

A few years ago, it launched an academy with a lot of fanfare. Junior members of the national team were grouped together in one team and catapulted into the top league, to compete with their elders and gain experience.

What happened next? The young boys were gobbled by the big teams and FERWAFA left holding thin air. In the meantime, there was no news of the academy.

If one were to talk about the shortcomings of our sports administrators, words would not be enough. But FERWAFA really needs to go back on the drawing board. Otherwise, in the next decade the situation will remain unchanged.

 

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