Kenya, Uganda to spice up football memorial tourney

Kenya and Uganda national football teams will take part in a football memorial tournament meant to honor football players, coaches and administrators who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Amavubi coach Johnny McKinstry and captain Haruna Niyonzima. (File)
Amavubi coach Johnny McKinstry and captain Haruna Niyonzima. (File)

Kenya and Uganda national football teams will take part in a football memorial tournament meant to honor football players, coaches and administrators who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda Football Association (FERWAFA) has invited five countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Kenya for the two-day tourney slated for June 6-7. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ferwafa, Olivier Mulindahabi said that Kenya and Uganda confirmed verbally but were advised to confirm in writing.

“Uganda and Kenya have confirmed but we told them to write to us officially, we expect to know soon which other team will participate in the tournament,” Mulindahabi said.

It is the first time the national football governing body has organised a tournament in memory of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

According to Ugandan media, Uganda national team head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said the Uganda Cranes will use the tournament as preparations for the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.

“The event will be very good to prepare our players ahead of the preliminary qualifier game against Tanzania on June 20,” said the Serbian.

The Rwandan football fraternity was deeply affected by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed a big number of players, coaches, administrators and fans.

So far, over 70 players have been identified; some teams that lost players include Mukura, SC Kiyovu, Rayon Sports, Panthère Noire, Etincelles, Gishamvu, Mukungwa, Terminus and Kilo Volte.

Since 1995, only Mukura Victory Sports have organised football memorial tournaments in honour of their players, officials and fans who died during the Genocide, but due to lack of funds, the tournament has not been held for the last five years.

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