Africa Nations Championship (CHAN)
Eritrea vs Rwanda (March 14)
BOKOTA Labama and Abbas Rassou are notable omissions from the Amavubi team that is preparing for next Sunday’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Eritrea.
Despite playing a key role in APR’s league campaign this season, the striking duo was overlooked by Rwanda’s football body (Ferwafa), who opted for a more youthful team, mainly composed of U-23 players who propelled Rwanda to the finals of last year’s Cecafa Challenge Cup in Nairobi, Kenya.
Abbas and Bokota, who is the league’s top scorer with ten goals, last featured for Amavubi last November during Rwanda’s final 2010 World/ Africa Nations qualifier against Zambia.
Other players who did not make the pre-selected squad include Kiyovu’s Jean Shyaka, Police’s top striker Roger Tchouassi and the Atraco trio of Jean Lomami, Andre Lomami and Djabir Mutarambirwa.
After missing out on last year’s inaugural edition, Rwanda is desperate to snatch one of two slots available in the central Zone. Other teams in contention include Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and Tanzania.
Last year, Rwanda suffered a premature exit from the competition after a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Sudan (the hosts of next year’s edition) at the preliminary stage.
In the absence of Amavubi’s new head coach Sellas
Tetteh, Eric Nshimiyimana and Emmanuel Ruremesha will handle the team’s training sessions at Ferwafa grounds.
Tetteh, who is still in Ghana, will link up with the team next Friday in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital.
The winner between Rwanda and Eritrea will play either Tanzania or Somalia.
Uganda plays Burundi in the other Zone fixture.
The 2011 edition will run from January 21 to February 10 and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has doubled the number of participating teams to 16.
Amavubi’s provisional squad; J. Claude Ndoli (APR), J. Luc Ndayishimiye (APR), E. Mvuyekure (Electrogaz), J. B. Mugiraneza (APR), M. Mafisango(APR), H. Niyonzima (APR), D. Tuyisenge (Atraco), A. Rucogoza (Rayon), K. Mao (APR), Y. Ndayishimiye (Atraco), J.B. Ngaboyisibo(APR), Didier Kouin Kapet (APR), D. Mwiseneza ( Rayon), Abdul Karim Gashugi (Police), J. Claude Iranzi (APR), T. Ntamuhanga (Kiyovu), A. Uwilingiyimana (Atraco), A.Mwizerwa (AS Kigali), E. Rutayisire (AS Kigali) and E Serugaba (Kiyovu).