Afcon 2015: Caf rejects Rwanda’s appeal

The Confederation of African Football appeals board rejected Rwanda’s petition over their disqualification from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final round qualifiers.
The player at the center of controversy, Birori. (File photo)
The player at the center of controversy, Birori. (File photo)

The Confederation of African Football appeals board rejected Rwanda’s petition over their disqualification from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final round qualifiers.

Local football federation officials have been in Cairo, Egypt since Tuesday where they had gone to make a case for Rwanda after the country was banned from the ongoing qualifiers.

The delegation was led by Ferwafa president Vincent Nzamwita, secretary general Olivier Mulindahabi and legal affairs head Emmanuel Ndagijimana.

They returned home Friday night but with bad news. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at Ferwafa headquarters in which more details will be given.

Ferwafa filed an appeal against the decision by the Afcon organising committee to discontinue Amavubi from the competition on grounds that it fielded a player with two different identities in the last round against Congo Brazzaville.

The player at the centre of the controversy is Rwanda international Daddy Birori, who plays for DR Congo side AS Vita Club under the name Agiti Tady Etakiama.

Congo protested against Birori’s eligibility after the player featured in the 2-0 defeat for Amavubi away on July 20, but missed the return leg in Kigali which Rwanda won on penalty shoot-outs 4-3 on August 2, and eventually eliminated the Congolese to qualify for the group stages.

Caf consigned Congo to the group phase of the qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations - Morocco in Group A as replacement for Rwanda. Other teams in the group are; Sudan, South Africa and title-holders Nigeria.

Reaction

The secretary general of Rwanda football federation, Mulindahabi said: “It is true Rwanda’s appeal has been ruled out because Caf is not using their laws as it should be.”

"CAF is not following their laws and they are doing what they want not what laws say but everything will be explained by tomorrow in the press conference at Ferwafa headquarters (at 10am)," he added.

On Wednesday, Ferwafa officials presented Rwanda’s case hoping for a positive conclusion in vain.

Who is Birori?

Born in Kinshasa, Birori received Rwandan nationality in 2009 while playing for Mukura Victory Sport in the topflight division and has since featured for the Amavubi before receiving Congolese nationality last year.

Birori’s Rwandan passport indicates that he was born on December 12, 1986, while a Congolese passport that he received last year under the names Tady Agiti Etekiama that indicates he was born on December 13, 1990.

It is this double identity that Caf based on to ban the player a fortnight ago before turning their guns on Rwanda a week later wielding the axe that sent the East African country out of the continental showpiece.

Birori had earlier in the first round, scored a hat-trick as Rwanda shocked Libya in the return leg in Kigali after a 0-0 result in Tunisia in May. Libya lodged a protest about his ineligibility based on the argument that he held two nationalities, but it was thrown out by Caf.

 

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