President blasts football administrators
President Paul Kagame has blasted local football administrators, Ferwafa in particular for mismanaging the national team.
Since that historical qualification for the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations against all odds, the Amavubi Stars have not been the same and the President never dithered to express his frustration.
"I didn’t hide my frustration (as) it (Amavubi) hasn’t been working as expected," the President noted while addressing the regular press conference at Village Urugwiro on Tuesday.
President Kagame made the remarks while reacting to a question concerning the issue of foreigners on the national team and their attitude towards the national cause.
With Ferwafa boss Brig. Gen. John Bosco Kazura seated just inches away from him, the
President said, "We should examine ourselves; devise ways of refusing to be despised".
Referring to the foreginers on the national team, he added, "It’s like people don’t have the fighting spirit".
The Amavubi that qualified for CAN Tunis 2004 had several foreigners on it like Rafael Manamana, Bernard Mukoko, Ramadhan Nkunzingoma to mention just a few but at least they were performing.
Four years later, more foreigners are being adopted and incorporated into the team, yet Rwanda keeps declining in both Fifa and Caf rankings by each passing month.
The Amavubi Stars has finished bottom and second from bottom in their groups for the both the 2006 and 2008 Nations’ Cup qualifiers. In the eyes of the President, a well known ardent fan of not only the national team but football in general and many others like him, that is frustrating and disappointing.
During those hey days (2003/04),President Kagame didn’t hide his love and support for the Amavubi, always hosting them to countless dinners as well as dishing out kaki envelopes whenever they won, but that was then.
And after seeing things going from bad to worse and with no sign of imminent improvement, the President aparently decided to step aside and follow things from the sidelines. As his statement on Tuesday confirmed when he admitted, "Time came and I also resigned (withdrawn) on the whole issue (of Amavubi)".
"You can not bribe people (to play for the national team). There must be some self-drive to achieve," he exclaimed.It is on record that some foreigners-turned-Rwandans have on several occasions been paid extra (compared to others) to play for Amavubi, something the President and others like him, probably find unreasonable.
Local footballers’ body, Ferwafa has in recent years promised to reduce the number of foreigners not only in the national league but also on the national team.
However, the current Amavubi still has several of them like Mbuyu Twite (Eric Gasana), Roger Tchiasis (Tuyisenge), Manfred Kizito, Labama Bokota, Kalisa Kase, Patrick Mafisango, Ben Mandela, Mike Yossam, Saidi Abedi, Aloua Gaseruka, Honore Kabongo, Jannot Witakenga, Abedi Mulenda Bobo Bola etcetera. Ferwafa spends so much time talking about youth development but with these players on the team, how will the real Rwandan players get the chance to play for their motherland?