Amavubi to miss skipper Niyonzima for Burundi tie

Amavubi Stars captain Haruna Niyonzima will be the notable absentee when the national team faces Burundi in a Fifa international tie at Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura next Wednesday.
In the absence of Haruna Niyonzima (left), Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (right) will be the likely candidate to captain Amavubi in Bujumbura. File
In the absence of Haruna Niyonzima (left), Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (right) will be the likely candidate to captain Amavubi in Bujumbura. File

March 5

Burundi         vs      Rwanda

Amavubi Stars captain Haruna Niyonzima will be the notable absentee when the national team faces Burundi in a Fifa international tie at Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura next Wednesday.

Niyonzima is part of Young Africans squad which will host Caf Champions League reigning champions Al Ahly of Egypt this Saturday in their first round first leg match in Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian champions will head to Cairo for the second leg tie on March 8, three days after the scheduled Burundi-Rwanda game.

“It will be difficult to have Haruna for the Burundi friendly due to Caf engagements with his club. We wrote to them (Yanga) but there has been no positive response,” Rwanda’s head coach Nshimiyimana told Times Sport yesterday.

The former Rayon Sports and APR midfielder, Niyonzima is one of the most dependable players for Yanga, and it would be tricky for the club to release him for the friendly. For Yanga, the Champions League is more important than a friendly international match.

Nshimiyimana did not blame Yanga for holding onto the player, but instead hit at the continental football governing body (Caf) over the scheduling of Champions League and international friendly games in the same week.

“It is a situation imposed on teams by Caf. It is not Yanga’s fault.

We also didn’t include players from AS Kigali because of their engagement in the Caf Confederation Cup,” he noted.

However, the other professional duo of defender Salomon Nirisarike [Royal Antwerp] and striker Elias Uzamukunda [AS Cannes] is expected to join Amavubi training camp on Sunday.

Nirisarike is expected to face Sint Truidin in a Belgian second division league match on Saturday and then board the SN Brussels flight to Kigali on Sunday morning.

France-based striker Uzamukunda will be making a return to the national team for the first time in four-years. The 22-year old last featured for the

Amavubi in 2011 during the qualifiers for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile, the team started preparations on Wednesday but without Police FC’s defender Fabrice Twagizimana, who gave no reason for his absence, according to the coach.

 

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