OLIVIER Karekezi is heartbroken after being overlooked for Rwanda’s opening 2010 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast.
The former Amavubi Stars skipper will be a mere spectator as Rwanda push for a result in Ivory Coast’s capital, Yamoussoukro on September 4.
After selecting his provisional squad of 25 local-based players, Amavubi head coach Sellas Tetteh added only two professionals for the tricky away tie; Saddou Boubakary from Oman’s first division side Al Nahda Sports Club and Louis Aniweta from Cyprus’ Nea Salamina Famagusta.
Karekezi together with the likes of Patrick Mafisango (Azam), Hamad Ndikumana a.k.a Katauti, Saidi Makasi (Difaa El Jadida) and Bobo Bola (Atlantis FC) will now play no part in the qualifier something which has not gone down well with Karekezi.
Speaking recently on one of the local radio stations, the attacking midfielder, who occasionally plays as a forward, warned that his omission would cost the team in Yamoussoukro.
“My absence could cost Rwanda in Ivory Coast,” the 27-year-old said.
The snub has only worsened matters for Karekezi whose Östers IF is on the verge of being relegated to the third division of the Swedish league, which consequently could spell the end of his international career.
The local football governing body (Ferwafa) CEO Jules Kalisa has however backed Tetteh’s decision to leave out the ageing players.
“He (Tetteh) is in charge of the team and knows who fits into the team so the decision (to call players) is entirely up to him,” Kalisa said in reaction to Karekezi’s comments.
To qualify, Rwanda needs to top Group H or finish inside the best three qualifiers. Rwanda’s maiden appearance came back in 2004 under Rotamir Djukovic.
The 2012 Nations Cup will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.