SA eager to support Rwanda’s Chan preps

South Africa Football Association (SAFA) has confirmed its commitment to support the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) in organising the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).
Amavubi midfielder, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (R), tries to stop Burundi skipper Cédric Amissi during last month's friendly.  Rwanda is likely to face S. Africa in two friendlies. (T. Kisambira)
Amavubi midfielder, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (R), tries to stop Burundi skipper Cédric Amissi during last month's friendly. Rwanda is likely to face S. Africa in two friendlies. (T. Kisambira)

South Africa Football Association (SAFA) has confirmed its commitment to support the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) in organising the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).

The development was confirmed by Ferwafa chairman Vincent Nzamwita after concluding a five-working visit to SAFA on Wednesday.

Nzamwita met with the SAFA president Dr. Danny Jordaan on an official visit aimed at finding ways that South Africa can help Rwanda prepare and organise a successful Chan tournament next year in January.

South Africa hosted the 2014 edition and according to Caf’s organising manual, previous hosts are required to assist new hosts in time for the tournament.

Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday from Johannesburg, Nzamwita said that they had fruitful talks aimed at developing football in both nations.

“We had vital football talks related to the whole organisation of Chan tournaments. They have agreed to send their expert Eric Delafuente from Peru who has vast experience in organising World Cups.

Delafuente helped SAFA organise both the 2014 Chan and 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. He was also among the organisers of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” explained Nzamwita.

He continued, “Delafuente will be in Rwanda for a month-long stint to give out his knowledge to the relevant people tasked with the organisation of Chan 2016. He will also train football journalists such that they help us in informing people more about the tournament,” added Nzamwita.

According to Nzamwita, SAFA also promised to avail two friendly matches, home and away for both the senior national team which is preparing for Chan and the U23 which is preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifiers set for March where Rwanda will face Somalia in the preliminary round.

Caf President Issa Hayatou endorsed Rwanda to host the 2016 edition of Chan in January 2011 after the country staged two successful youth continental tournaments in a space of three years including the 2009 Africa Youth Championship and the African U-17 Championship two years later.

Chan is a tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues and has since been held in Ivory Coast (2009), Sudan (2011) and South Africa (2014).

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