Whoever wins Ferwafa presidency must introduce drastic reforms

If there is anything that needs a complete overhaul, it is Rwandan football. Some puffs and huffs spewed about, but they were nothing more than the passing wind.
Ivan R. Mugisha
Ivan R. Mugisha

If there is anything that needs a complete overhaul, it is Rwandan football. Some puffs and huffs spewed about, but they were nothing more than the passing wind.

The year 2013 can be remembered as one of the most infertile years in the history of this addictive sport; it’s hard to recall any significant achievement registered by the Amavubi – all that comes to my mind is humiliation after humiliation - in CHAN and World Cup qualifiers, even in the CECAFA Senior Challenge against regional peers.

The good news is that problems of Rwandan football are well documented; nothing is rocket science in this sphere. There are basically two problems; lack of quality home grown talent and poor leadership.

No one in the echelons of power should be excused when it comes to the under showing of Amavubi.

Right from the minister of sports, to the president of Ferwafa, we have been treated to a certain kind of retrogression, where strong decision making and innovative introductions have eluded this beloved sport.

Despite this, good news abounds and in every New Year, challenges must be overcome. This is why elections to Ferwafa’s presidency should be held with the utmost respect.

Candidates for this prestigious post include the incumbent  interim  boss Celestin Ntagungira, his deputy Raoul Gisanura, Jean Daniel Mbanda, Augustine Munyandamutsa and Degole Nzabamwita.

They all have strengths and weaknesses, which I will not delve into in order to avoid showing inclines to any party, but one thing is for sure. Whoever is finally voted as the new president of Ferwafa has a lot on his plate.

As the public, we want reformist leaders. The kind of leaders who are not comfortable with the status quo, but those willing to think outside the box and bring progress to our beloved sport.

This year comes with many competitions and qualifiers. What we need is a leader who will not just look at how we can win trophies this year, but how we can build on our strength for the long term.

This means among other things that, more emphasis must be placed on marketing the local league, so that it can attract more private advertisers who will inject money into the clubs.

This will pay off by making the league more competitive and the clubs will have funds to invest into developing their young talent.

On top of that, the next Ferwafa boss must ensure that primary and high schools begin football competitions, so that we can have children growing up with the passion to play this sport as their profession.

Important as well, it is common sadness that Rwanda doesn’t have enough playing ground!

Just imagine having the desire to play soccer but having nowhere nearby to play it from –this is the feeling experienced by several youths who dream of becoming Rwanda’s George Weah or Jeje Okotcha.

In this respect, whoever wins the presidency must ensure that several playing fields are allocated in each sector and district. My argument is that, if we can do it for coffee and tea, we can certainly do it for football.

Once these are laid out, we can even forego winning any game in 2014. Short term gains can be overlooked, while Rwanda’s future dominance is laid out for the long term.

@RushAfrican on Twitter

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