Rwanda’s representativeS at the 4th edition of the Tournoi International du District Autonome d’Abidjan (TIDA), Isonga FC, hope to shine at the tourney which gets underway today in Côte d’Ivoire, until December 6.
Moussa Gatera’s 20-man team left the country for Abidjan on Tuesday seeking to impress on their debut.
“We will do all we can to perform well. This is a new challenge for us, but I am ready to work hard and raise the level of my team. I believe with the way we have been training, they will do a good job,” Gatera said before their departure.
The tourney will give players a chance to showcase their talent on a global platform.
Three groups of four teams have been formed for this year’s edition and Isonga FC will take part in the U-18 category.
“We also need to expose our kids, they are talented and can do very well at the highest level so we are happy to be part of this event which will help them to show their talent,” he added.
Holders Asec Mimosas are defending champions while Isonga FC will be in Group B alongside Côte d’Ivoire U17 Elephants WAFA and Racing Club d’Abidjan.
The first ranked teams in each group at the end of knock-out matches will qualify for the semi-finals. The teams that will hold second place will play in a half-time tournament, after which the winners will complete the semi-final stage.
Isonga was founded in 2011 comprising players who played in the U-17 African Youth Championships and the FIFA World Cup. The team was promoted to the U-20 level and registered to play in the national league without going through the second division.
Under Eric Nshimiyimana, Isonga FC finished in sixth position in their debut season in the 2011/12 season but failed to maintain that impressive form the next campaign, which saw them relegated to the second-tier league before they withdrew from league football altogether this year.
Group A: Asec Mimosas, FC San Pedro (Côte d’Ivoire), FC Lakika (Mali) na Volcan Junior (Côte d’Ivoire)
Group B: Côte d’Ivoire U17 Elephants (Côte d’Ivoire), WAFA (Ghana), Racing Club d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Isonga FC (Rwanda)
Group C: Academie Mohamed VI (Morocco), SOA (Côte d’Ivoire), Ivoire Academie (Côte d’Ivoire), and Royal SC (Burkina Faso).