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Football, Basketball, Tennis, Athletics, Cycling and Volleyball national federations have been prioritized by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

Football, Basketball, Tennis, Athletics, Cycling and Volleyball national federations have been prioritized by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

This was revealed by the Secretary General of the Ministry Jean Pierre Karabaranga in an interview with Times Sport yesterday.

Karabaranga’s revelation comes on a day when the ministry is set to meet with the six federations in Gisenyi in order to formulate their action plan for 2008.

This appears to be a real possibility of leaving out the boxing team out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However that couldn’t be confirmed by press time.

To make things even worse, only one athlete, Dieudonne Disi has so far qualified. Rwanda is expected to take four more disciplines in addition to athletics; including boxing, swimming, cycling and Paralympics (sports for the physically disabled).

However, for boxing to qualify, they would have to go through two tough qualifying rounds, in Namibia and Algeria in January and April respectively.

According to a reliable within the sports circles the 2008 budgetary expenditures are expected to be high on the agenda today.

"I think the meeting will have an impact," Karabaranga said. "At this moment I can’t disclose what is on the agenda. But only six federations will attend the meeting” he said.

The continuing presence of the lack of funds to several sports federations has hindered Rwanda’s participation in various international events in the recent past.  

The burden of financing most sports activities falls mainly on the sports ministry as events sponsor are hard to come by, making several federations to go it alone. 

Recently the local football’s governing body, Ferwafa stated that whether there is a sponsor or not, the national football leagues must be played. The leagues include; first, second and third divisions for both junior and senior players.

According to the federation’s chief executive office Jules Kalisa, the federation will continue with its activities regardless of not having a sponsor.

“Whether we get a sponsor now or not, all the senior and junior leagues in the country will go ahead as planned.
“We shall not fear to take a step ahead just because there are no sponsors.

The federation will run its programs with or without sponsors,” he stressed.

However, Kalisa disclosed that they (Ferwafa) are still in talks with MTN Rwanda over a possible deal to sponsor the national football league.

Football is expected is expected to take a lion’s share is this year’s sports budget with the national football team taking part in the 2010 world cup and Africa cup of nation’s qualifiers as well the 2009 African Youth Championship (U-20) due to be held here in Kigali.

Following an under par 2008 campaign, Rwanda cannot afford to lose another key chance of making it to the Nations’ Cup for the second time in its history. The first time was in 2004 when it was staged in Tunisia.

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