Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) Thursday evening appointed Vincent Mashami and Thomas Higiro assistants to the newly appointed national football team Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey.
Mashami will be Hey’s first assistant coach while Higiro will be the goalkeepers’ coach.
Mashami is currently the head coach of Azam Rwanda Premier League side Bugesera FC while Higiro is goalkeeping coach at AS Kigali.
The duo will help Hey in his task to qualify Rwanda for next year’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be held in Kenya, and the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals due in Cameroon.
Mashami, who has on several occasions managed the national team in an interim role and served as assistant head coach, is one of the highest ranking local football coaches. He, alongside with 11 other local coaches, were awarded their CAF A Coaching Course a fortnight ago.
Higiro, an experienced goalkeepers’ coach, has managed at different clubs before and served stints on the national teams, both at junior and senior levels.
Afcon 2019 Campaign
Rwanda will face Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Central Africa on the road to Cameroon (for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals).
Amavubi start their campaign in June this year away to Central African Republic in between June 5-13.
At the same time, Cote d’Ivoire will be hosting Guinea in Abidjan.
The remaining match days will be staged between March, 2018 until November, 2018 when the qualification round will climax.
The winner from each group, alongside the best three second placed teams overall, will qualify for the tournament as Cameroon, though already qualified as hosts, will also be part of the qualifiers.
2018 CHAN finals
The road to Kenya 2018 CHAN finals will see Rwanda face Tanzania in the second round due July. The first leg is scheduled between July 14-16 in Dar es Salaam and the return leg in Kigali on the weekend of July 21-23.
The last time Rwanda and Tanzania met was during the 2015 Cecafa Challenge Cup held in Ethiopia.
Rwanda lost 1-2 to Tanzania in the group stage before finishing runner-up to winners Uganda.
The winner between Rwanda and Tanzania are likely to take on Uganda, who are the favourites to go past the winner between South Sudan and Somalia in the second round.
Should Rwanda edge Tanzania and reach the third round, they would play the first leg on August 11-13 while the second leg would be staged on August 18-20.
The second-round winners will meet in the third round where only eventual winners (two will represent Central and East Zone at next year’s edition, alongside Kenya, who are the hosts).
CHAN, the continental competition reserved for players who feature in their domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged in Kenya from January 11, 2018 to February 2, 2018.