APR midfield maestro Andrew Buteera has finally been approved as a Rwandan national, according to a statement released by the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa).
The statement reads: “After a lot of research between Ferwafa and the Immigration Office, it has been discovered that 11 players are Rwandans and will with immediate effect receive the necessary documents and will be allowed to play in the National Football League hereafter.”
Rayon Sports’ captain Fuadi Ndayisenga has also been included on the 11-man list of the cleared players that also comprises Yannick Bukebuke (APR), Albert Ngabonziza (APR), Emery Mvuyekure (Police), Hamadou Mbanzumutima (Police), Keita Yumba (Amagaju), Adrien Bantu (Amagaju), Yves Rwigema (APR), Bertrand Iradukunda (APR) and Djuma Bizimana (Amagaju)
Buteera, who has not played for the army side in the National Football League this season, was sidelined after Ferwafa questioned the nationality of almost 50 players who were born outside Rwanda.
Following Rwanda’s disqualification from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualifiers, the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Sports and Culture alongside Ferwafa agreed that Rwanda will no longer be represented by naturalised players.
In the past, Ferwafa processed Rwandan nationality for foreign players so that they could represent the country in international competitions.
Two seasons ago, APR introduced a home grown policy to feature only Rwandan players and this saw the club release foreign players from the Democratic Republic of Congo and as far as Haiti and Brazil.
Considering this policy therefore, Ferwafa highlighted Buteera’s name as one of the players who were ineligible to play as Rwandans.
The 20-year-old, then went through the process of requesting for Rwandan nationality along with his father who fled the country more than two decades ago.
His father, who lives in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb, attained his national identity card ‘indangamuntu’ in November but Buteera had to wait a little longer.
Buteera was born in Kampala and joined Proline Academy as a raw talent. His brilliance earned him a call up to the Rwanda U-17 side ahead of the Caf African U-17 Championship in 2011.
He guided the Junior Wasps to the final losing 1-2 to Burkina Faso and went on to play a crucial role at the 2011 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
He joined APR in September 2012 after nursing a career-threatening eight-month ligament injury and has since been an integral player for the military side helping them to win a record 14th title last season and has played consistently for the Amavubi.
Teammate Charles Tibingana who also played for the Junior Wasps at the Caf African U-17 Championship and scored two goals including Rwanda’s lone strike in the final, is currently undergoing the process of seeking Rwandan nationality.
Meanwhile, 13 players have not been cleared to play as Rwandans, they include; Kipson Atuheire (Police), Nyango Ombeni (Mukura), Rodriguez Mazuru (Musanze), Charles Kawuma (Sunrise), Nasser Irakoze (Espoir), Andrew Lomami (Espoir), Elias Ntaganda (Espoir) and Moninga Warusambo (Espoir).