Rwanda will not participate in the 2019 Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya due to lack of funding, according an official in the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC).
Ministry spokesperson, Oleg Karambizi, in an exclusive interview with Times Sport, confirmed that indeed the youth team will not participate in the two-legged qualifier because, “the competition was not included in the ministry’s budget for the current year.”
“FERWAFA wrote to the Ministry requesting for funds to facilitate the team’s preparations and for the two games, and the Permanent Secretary immediately responded informing them that there is no money to facilitate the team’s preparations,” said Karambizi.
He added that, “All sports federations know that they must communicate in good time, to the ministry, all the competitions that they intend to take part in, this way, it helps the ministry, to plan and make the necessary budgetary allocations.”
Karambizi was responding to FERWAFA president Vincent Nzamwita’s comments that they wrote to the ministry requesting for funding but that, “until now, no response has been forthcoming.”
In an earlier interview, Nzamwita told this paper, “When CAF announced this competition, all countries that were interested were told to register, which we (Rwanda) did.”
“We went ahead and wrote to the Ministry of Sports and Culture requesting for money to facilitate the team’s preparations and the two matches, but until now we’re still waiting for them to respond,” he alleged.
Rwanda was supposed play against Kenya in a two-legged first round qualifier with the first leg slated to be played between March 30 and 31 to April 1 in Nairobi, while the return leg is due between April 20-22 in Kigali.
It is reported that FERWAFA requested for Rwf255 million for the team’s preparations, an amount the ministry said wasn’t provided for in their budget.