On Tuesday, Rwandan football officials terminated the contract of the Amavubi coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojovic, seven months before its expiry.
The officials cited the team’s poor run of results under the Serbian tactician.
When Micho was appointed the head coach for the senior national football side in November 2011, many expected him to breathe new life into the country’s football.
But if the dismal performance of the team over the last couple of months is anything to go by, it is obvious that there is need for a new and more strategic approach if the country is to achieve its ambitions in this sport.
Rwanda’s football cannot argue that it has not benefitted from the government’s support. Compared to the region, the country’s football clubs and national teams fare better than their neighbours in terms of government support.
But despite that support, the dividends are negligible as Rwanda’s football fortunes seem to be on a downhill trend.
Unlike other sports disciplines such as Basketball, Volleyball, Sitting Volleyball and Cycling which receive just a fraction of what football gets but perform better, football is stuck in a dismal impasse, and, therefore, drastic measures need to be put in place if the game is to remain relevant and competitive.
Sporadic measures such as patchwork of foreign based players, some even unknown to the local fan base, is a recipe for disaster.
What FERWAFA and other stakeholders need to do is go back to the drawing board and invest in the future.
The much touted FERWAFA Academy and the few private schools that produced the first batch of homegrown talents that took Rwanda to its first Under-17 World Cup should serve as an example of what dedication and patriotism can achieve for the game.
Youth football is the surest way out of this free-fall mode. The private sector and schools will need to play a crucial role in this. And the fans and general public will need to be patient – it will be a step at a time.