Group C Fixtures; (Tanger)
Rwanda vs Nigeria
Eq. Guinea vs Rwanda
Rwanda vs Libya
Rwanda has released the final 23-man squad for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals tournament scheduled to be held in Morocco from Jan. 12 through Feb. 4.
In absence of national coach Antoine Hey, who is on a sick leave in Germany, the 23-man squad was announced Friday afternoon by Amavubi assistant coach Vincent Mashami.
The squad includes three players, who were not part of the national team at this year’s CECAFA Senior Challenge in Kenya where Rwanda was eliminated in the group stages.
They include AS Kigali attacking midfielder Dominique Savio Nshuti, Bugesera FC forward Barnabe Mubumbyi and Police FC left-back Celestin Ndayishimiye.
The three players were left out were; forward Maxime Sekamana (APR FC), full-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe (APR FC) and midfielder Olivier Niyonzima (Rayon Sports).
Mashami said: “We have selected a strong squad, which will head to Tunisia for a training camp where we shall play some friendly games before heading to Morocco.”
“Our target is to get out of the group, which we feel is possible given the group we’re in, but first we need to do well in the opening game against Nigeria, if we’re to qualify from the group,” he added.
The inclusion of Ndayishimiye, and Mubumbyi and Nshuti has come as a surprise to many observers given that the trio has barely featured prominently for their clubs this season.
Striker Mubumbyi, who released by AS Kigali to join Bugesera FC has not scored a goal in ten Azam Rwanda Premier League matches.
Ndayishimiye played in Police’s four opening league matches but has not played for Innocent Seninga’s team since losing his place to Jean Marie Vianney Muvandimwe.
Nshuti has played less than 30 minutes of competitive football for AS Kigali, which was in the season opener against Rayon Sports in which he suffered a shoulder injury that has kept him out for over three months.
Amavubi is expected to leave to depart to Tunisia on New Year’s Day for a ten-day training camp where play two friendlies against Sudan and Algeria on Jan. 5 and Jan. 10 respectively.
CHAN is a tournament reserved for players playing in their domestic. It was have 16 teams battling to dethrone Democratic Republic of Congo as champions.
Rwanda is in Group C along with Libya, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. Group C will be based in Tanger City.
Amavubi 23-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Sports), Marcel Nzarora (Police FC) and Yves Kimenyi (APR FC).
Defenders: Faustin Usengimana (Rayon Sports), Thierry Manzi (Rayon Sports), Soter Kayumba (AS Kigali), Eric Rutanga (Rayon Sports), Eric Iradukunda (AS Kigali), Fitina Omborenga (APR), Celestin Ndayishimiye (Police), Herve Rugwiro (APR) and Ally Mbogo (SC Kiyovu).
Midfielders: Yannick Mukunzi (Rayon Sports), Djihad Bizimana (APR), Amran Nshimiyimana (APR), Ally Niyonzima (AS Kigali), Djabel Imanishimwe (Rayon Sports), Muhadjiri Hakizimana (APR) and Dominique Savio Nshuti (AS Kigali)
Forwards: Innocent Nshuti (APR), Justin Mico (Police), Abeddy Biramahire (Police) and Barnabe Mubumbyi (Bugesera).