Micho’s sacking isn’t the solution, says Karekezi

Just a day after the Rwanda Football Federation announced the sacking of Amavubi Stars head coach Milutin Sredojovic Micho, skipper Olivier Karekezi has cautioned the appointing authorities not to be carried away by their decision.
Micho (right) has been replaced by his right-hand man Eric Nshimiyimana (left) on a temporary basis.  Rwanda's national team captain Olivier Karekezi says sacking the coach will not so....
Micho (right) has been replaced by his right-hand man Eric Nshimiyimana (left) on a temporary basis. Rwanda's national team captain Olivier Karekezi says sacking the coach will not so....

Just a day after the Rwanda Football Federation announced the sacking of Amavubi Stars head coach Milutin Sredojovic Micho, skipper Olivier Karekezi has cautioned the appointing authorities not to be carried away by their decision.

Instead, the team captain and Rwanda’s most capped player warned the national team woes are far deeper that just changing coaches and predicts the situation could deteriorate unless the real problem is addressed. While reacting to the news, Karekezi told Times Sport exclusively from his base in Tunisia, that sacking Micho is not the solution to Amavubi’s problems which include lack of success and underperformances on the international scene.

“As players, there is nothing we can do about his (Micho) sacking, but basing on the results from the last couple of matches, maybe his bosses are right to sack him,” said Karekezi, who is the only surviving player from the famous 2004 squad that took Rwanda to its only Africa Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia. The 29-year-old added, “Now that another coach has been sacked, Ferwafa also need to change the way they’re doing things, first they must professionalise the national league and have  a large pool of good players.”

“This way, any coach who will come, will find it easy to build a strong team. Unless this is done, we are just wasting time and lying to ourselves that we can qualify to Nations Cup or World Cup final,” he stated.

“In 2004, we had a good team but the base of that team was the local players, who were featuring in a vibrant and strong league. It’s the reason we did so well in the qualification campaign.

“Even if we had reinforcements from professional players, the local players had done their part in as far as qualification was concerned,” says Karekezi, who features for Tunisian club AC Bizertin.

The 44-year-old Micho joined Amavubi in November 2011 on a two-year contract, and was reportedly earning $20,000 (about Rwf13.4m) a month, one of the highest paid coaches in the region.

Eric Nshimiyimana, who has been his assistant, will now take charge of the team as Ferwafa and Ministry of Sports and Culture start the search for a new coach.

As the country embarks on another journey to find a new coach, Ferwafa and other stakeholders should think about investing in the future.

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