The Ministry of Sports and Culture is still on the hunt for the next national football team (Amavubi) head coach after a dramatic decision to fire Gilbert ‘Yaoundé’ Kanyankore as interim head coach having been appointed into the role on Friday last week.
The sacking, which was communicated yesterday saw former Rwanda international Jimmy Mulisa handed the role of interim Amavubi head coach.
Also relinquished of his duties yesterday, was Eric Nshimiyimana, who had also been handed the role of Assistant Amavubi Coach last Friday, along with Mulisa, who was already serving in the same role under former head coach Johnny McKinstry.
“We have handed the duties of interim head coach to Jimmy as negotiations with the other two coaches (Kanyankore and Nshimiyimana) didn’t go as expected,” the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Lt Col Patrice Rugambwa, told The New Times.
He said they were also on the lookout for someone else who would work alongside Mulisa on a temporary basis until substantive coaching staff have been appointed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kanyankore, who on Monday named a 23-man squad for the September 3 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana, expressed shock at the decision to terminate his services on a day he and Nshimiyimana were expected to sign contracts.
“They have told us that we are no longer Amavubi coaches and we have to respect the decision,” Kanyankore said Tuesday morning.
He added: “The PS (Rugambwa) called us and said we were no longer part of the coaching staff.”
The Amavubi head coach position fell vacant on Thursday after Irishman Johnny McKinstry, 30, was sacked after just over a year in charge – despite having extended his contract (until 2018) in May.
Shortly after McKinstry’s sacking, PS Rugambwa had told The New Times that assistant head coach and former Amavubi forward Jimmy Mulisa would take charge on an interim basis, but later officials announced APR FC head coach Kanyankore as the man to take the job on a temporary basis, with AS Kigali head coach Nshimiyimana and Mulisa deputising him.
Ibrahim Mugisha would retain the position of goalkeeping coach.
Mulisa’s major task will be to prepare Amavubi for their game against Ghana in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers on September 3 in Accra. Against the Group H leaders, Rwanda has only pride to play for having squandered the opportunity to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations finals in Gabon, following shock defeats to Mozambique and Mauritius.
During his professional career, 32-year-old Mulisa played for APR FC between 2002 and 2005 before signing for Belgian second division club RAEC Mons in 2005, where he played for one season, and later joined KRC Mechelen in 2007. In the 2013/2014 season, Mulisa returned to Belgium second division side A.F.C. Tubize. He later played for T-Team of Venezuela before returning to Rwanda this year.