Football is mostly about entertainment; yet last Saturday, it was far from it. One thing is clear - the condition of the pitch was so bad like hundreds of cows have been grazing on the Amahoro Stadium turf.
Rwanda lost at home to Ghana in a crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier. That was a heartbreaker indeed, especially since the winning goal came late after the Amavubi had held on for what would have been a crucial point.
But even then, the game was very clumsy. It is not the kind of display you’d be so eager to re-watch on TV on YouTube.
The game was typified with a million aerial balls, and each straight carpet pass found a way to bounce away from a player in awkward angles. In short, the pitch was pathetic.
As a matter of fact, not even the most skilled footballers on earth would be judged on it. And yet, both countries seemed determined to get through with the game despite the hurdle.
It seemed as though FERWAFA and the Ministry of Sports and Culture, who are in charge of managing the stadium, got late information about the game – hence the level of despicable unpreparedness.
Meanwhile, FERWAFA’s president, Vincent Nzamwita seemed to be undisturbed by the debacle from where he was seated as he “enjoyed” the game. I have come to realize that he is a man of calm. He usually prefers to stay out of sight and lets others do the talking whenever there is a contentious issue.
Even President Kagame – who mind you is a big soccer fan – expressed his dissatisfaction about the state of Amahoro, stating that “we should improve it significantly.”
Despite this, Nzamwita has still maintained his “calm” and not even come out to apologize to Rwandans for such a discourteous viewing.
Now that President Kagame has had his view, images of a significantly improved stadium have popped out – and come this Saturday, Amavubi will be expected to host Gabon on a flat, green surface that is a far cry from what the world saw last Saturday. And it better be!
I will repeat like I have said once too many times. FERWAFA should get its act together and stop dragging our beloved nation in the mud.
Crunch tie between United and Liverpool has a lot at stake
The world will come to a standstill as we are treated to the greatest of rivalries in football when United host Liverpool on Saturday at Old Trafford.
Both clubs have had an active transfer period. Liverpool scooped Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino – players who had been flirting with Manchester United all along.
On the other hand, Memphis Depay broke hearts at Anfield when he decided to join United despite having a personal conversation with Brendan Rodgers.
Therefore, this fixture provides many new players who are eager to prove a point – while both clubs also need to bounce back from defeats inflicted by Swansea and West Ham respectively.
United also signed another player on the transfer deadline who has a lot to prove – Anthony Martial.
Forget the comparisons between him and Thierry Henry. Forget the gigantic fee that Manchester United paid to Monaco for his transfer.
When you forget everything else and look at Anthony Martial as Anthony Martial, you will slowly start to understand why Barcelona, Arsenal, PSG and other big clubs circled him before United paid over the odds for his signature.
The 19-year old French forward certainly has potential, but only goals will prove that Louis Van Gaal did not sign him out of panic.