Local football ruling body, Ferwafa has launched the Organizing Commission for next year’s African U-20 Youth Championship scheduled for January 18-February 1 in Kigali.
The commission, codenamed, COCAN was launched on Friday at the federation headquarters by Jules Kalisa, the federation Chief Executive Officer, who also doubles as COCAN Secretary General.
Kalisa said, "The commission was set up early this year with its chief task being to lay strategies on how Rwanda can best host her maiden African championship". "We want to do the best we could and host a tournament that will go in records as the most successful ever held in CAF history," Kalisa said.
Other members on the commission include; Brig. Gen. John Bosco Kazura (president), Jean Pierre Karabaranga (vice president) and Jean Butoyi (spokesman).
The commission has several committees in charge of different tasks which include among others marketing and technical.
Rwanda was accorded the rights to host the 2009 African youth championship at the CAF general assembly held in Egypt prior to the 2006 African Nations Cup.
Meanwhile, South Africa has written to Rwanda requesting for an international friendly between the two countries, however, Rwanda is yet to respond.
"Many countries are requesting for friendly matches in Rwanda ahead of next year’s African championship. The game with South Africa will be played next month, but we’re yet to confirm the dates," Kalisa said.
The U-20 team managers, Croatian born have a task of assembling a strong team for the championship.
The team, being handled by Obradovic Tomislav (head coach), Eric Nshimiyimana (first assistant), Yves Rwasamanzi (second assistant) and Claude Ishimwe (goalkeeping coach), is expected to head to Germany for further training at the end of the national league on July 20.
In a related development, the World’s football body Fifa has named Egypt as hosts of 2009 U-20 World Cup. The winners of the African youth championship in Rwanda will automatically join Egypt as Africa’s representatives.
Egypt previously hosted the U-17 World Cup in 1997 while Nigeria was the last African country to host the U-20 tournament in 1999.
FIFA U-20 World Cup is formerly known as the FIFA World Youth Championship. The new name was used for the first time in 2007 when Canada hosted U-20 World Cup.