Rwanda men’s senior volleyball team will play warm-up matches in north Africa as part of preparations ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations slated for October 20- 30 in Egypt—the tournament will also serve as a qualifier for the 2018 FIVB World Championships.
According to head coach Paul Bitok, the team will play against Egyptian side Soumoha and Libya national team. The national team will travel to Cairo on Saturday before playing the warm-up games on Monday and Tuesday.
The development comes after the local volleyball governing body, FRVB, failed to secure friendly games in Turkey.
Bitok said, “After failing to secure warm-up games in Turkey, we contacted the Egyptian club and Libya national team, who accepted our request.”
“We hope that these warm-up matches will help in our preparation because we want to reach as far as possible in the tournament. We know it is not going to be easy as all teams will be aiming to win and qualify but we are ready for the challenge.”
The team started non-residential camp three weeks ago before joining residential training camp last week.
Senior players; Lawrence Yakan Guma and Yves Mutabazi joined the camp on Tuesday but it is unclear whether captain Christophe Mukunzi will be with the team in Egypt after travelling to Saudi Arabia for talks with a new club.
Rwanda qualified for Africa’s biggest volleyball competition after finishing second behind Kenya during the Africa Zone V Championships hosted by Rwanda in July.
In Cairo, Rwanda will battle against the likes of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Kenya, Libya and hosts Egypt. The top three teams will book tickets to the World Championships.