Mao, Bokota & Birori join camp on Monday
Group H (June 5)
Burundi vs Rwanda
Benin vs Ivory Coast
AMAVUBI head coach Sellas Tetteh will have atleast four days to study his 27-man provisional squad before naming the final team for Sunday’s 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Burundi.
AS Cannes striker Elias Uzamukunda a.k.a Baby jets in today while the DRC- based trio of Kalisa Mao, Bokota Labama and Dady Birori is expected to join camp on Monday.
Former Amavubi skipper Olivier Karekezi, who now plies his trade in Sweden (Östers IF) does not arrive until Wednesday.
With six professionals at his disposal, Tetteh is expected to assemble his strongest squad since taking over the wasps’ reigns last year.
The Ghanaian’s assistant Eric Nshimiyimana was however quick to warn the professionals that they would have to fight for their places in the team.
“These local players were magnificent in the 3-1 win over Burundi, so we cannot simply ignore that,” Nshimiyimana pointed out.
“Calling up the professionals is not a guarantee that they will start so they need to prove their worth in training,” he added.
After losing their opening qualifiers against Ivory Coast and Benin, the wasps returned to winning ways last month with a timely 3-1 home victory over Burundi’s Swallows.
Jean Claude Iranzi, who is suspended for the return leg, Baby and Eric Gasana scored the goals to end the team’s scoring duck.
Ivory Coast top the group (H) with nine points, Benin is second on four points while Rwanda follows in third place with three points. Burundi who are still chasing for their first win are at the foot of the group with one point.
While topping the group seems very unlikely, Rwanda can still qualify if they finish inside the best three qualifiers.
Rwanda’s maiden appearance came back in 2004 under Rotamir Djokovic.
The 2012 Nations Cup will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.