FORMER Ferwafa vice president, Celestin Musabyimana has praised the current federation leadership for their tireless effort to develop football from the grassroots (bottom to top) and not the other way round.
Now a member of the CAF Executive Committee representing the Cecafa region, Musabyimana was second in command during Lt. Gen. Ceaser Kayizari’s era (1995 to 2006).
During that time, the senior national side, Amavubi Stars was the face of Rwandan football and a lot of resources and focus were concentrated on the team, leaving very little for youth development.
Four years down the road, Musabyimana seems to have nothing but admiration for what the leadership in place, led by Brig. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura is doing as far as developing the sport from the grassroots level is concerned.
“They (Ferwafa) are doing the right thing (focusing on youth development). It’s the way to go,” noted the CAF official after attending Ferwafa’s general assembly as the guest of honour on Saturday.
He however, appealed to clubs to take the initiative of youth development into their own hands, “Clubs must own this idea, it can’t be a Ferwafa project.”
“Ferwafa is the clubs, so if it’s (idea of youth development) going to succeed the way we all want, clubs must take full responsibility. Any support from Ferwafa should be just supplementary,” noted Musabyimana.
Gen. Kazura and his team have embarked on what appears to be a long and painful journey of building the sport, something which so many people including Musabyimana say has been long overdue.
So, why was he invited for Ferwafa’s general assembly, Musabyimana said, “As a CAF member (and a Rwandan), I was invited to open it.”
“I told them how CAF appreciates Rwanda’s record of organizing major tournaments, the example being the 2009 U-20 championship, which resulted in (earning the rights to host) the 2011 Africa U-17 championship.
He added, “I was impressed by the attendance, the quorum was there, which shows that people are (now) interested in what they’re doing.”