CAF ref loses job

BNR sacks referee Kabanda over CAF assignmentsThe National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has sacked Fifa/Caf referee Felicien Kabanda ahead of the 2012 Africa Nations Cup finals due to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January. Kabanda, who has been an assistant officer in charge of procurement with BNR for the last 16 years, received his dismissal letter on Thursday.
Félicien Kabanda (right) warming up with his colleagues  prior to taking charge of the league clash between Rayon Sports and Kiyovu at Amahoro stadium on Wednesday. The New Times/E. Niyonshuti.
Félicien Kabanda (right) warming up with his colleagues prior to taking charge of the league clash between Rayon Sports and Kiyovu at Amahoro stadium on Wednesday. The New Times/E. Niyonshuti.

BNR sacks referee Kabanda over CAF assignments

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has sacked Fifa/Caf referee Felicien Kabanda ahead of the 2012 Africa Nations Cup finals due to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January.

Kabanda, who has been an assistant officer in charge of procurement with BNR for the last 16 years, received his dismissal letter on Thursday.

Fatal letter

The letter, a copy of which Times Sport has obtained, was signed by BNR Governor Ambassador Claver Gatete. It states that Kabanda was dismissed on grounds that he left his work station without his bosses permission to undertake CAF referees training course and handled 2012 U-23 Africa Championship held in Morocco this month.

“The discussion I held with you whereby you were clearly told that given your critical duties, it was not possible for the bank to release you to go to attend the training of referees and to officiate at the games.

“Instead of staying at your office as you were requested, you wrote a letter requesting for unpaid leave

“It was the last time for the bank to grant you such authorization of unpaid leave but you chose to ignore this letter. You left the bank without waiting for a response and ipso facto, you left the bank without permission,”

“Considering that you disobeyed deliberately to management’s decision and consequently, committed disciplinary fault for which you were requested to give explanations of your misconduct,”

“Considering that the explanations you gave had no basis. Considering you violated the bank’s code of conduct, especially articles of the rules of procedures of BNR dated which respectively deal notably with integrity, loyalty, efficiency and responsibility which is a serious fault,”

“Based on staff rules of BNR dated June 19, 2009, I regret to inform you that the management of BNR has decided to dismiss you from your duties at BNR with effect from December 29, 2011,” added the governor.

Kabanda said yesterday: “I did my best to convince BNR and even the Ministry of Sports tried to request permission on my behalf so that I could go for CAF commitments but they were not flexible. But I have to move on with my career as an international referee.”

The Rwandan official is among the referees who will officiate at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals, scheduled to start from January 21 to February 12, 2012.

Stepping in Ntagungira’s shoes

Kabanda is being tipped as the perfect replacement for retired international referee and now Rwanda FA boss Célestin Ntagungira. He has risen slowly but steadily into the refereeing ranks and being able to reach continental ranks is a big achievement for him personally and Rwanda as a whole.

Having started his profession handling local matches in 1998, Kabanda was promoted to Fifa/Caf international assistant referee in 2002.

He spent some good time officiating matches within the Cecafa region as well continental competitions until 2010.

Last year, he officiated at the second edition of Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) finals held in Sudan and was again picked by CAF to handle Africa U-17 championship, held in Kigali.

In June, Fifa gave him a nod to handle Fifa U-17 World Cup finals which were held in Mexico. Last month, Kabanda was the picked by CAF to handle U-23 2012 Africa Olympic final qualifying tournament which was held in Morocco.

Kabanda, Issa Kagabo and Hudu Munyemana are currently the top referees in the country.

bonnie.mugabe@newtimes.co.rw

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