Amavubi: A story untold

A story is told that Amavubi’s skipper Olivier Karekezi used to train with his mobile phone on pitch when he had just comeback from Germany, where he was a trainee in the late 90s.

A story is told that Amavubi’s skipper Olivier Karekezi used to train with his mobile phone on pitch when he had just comeback from Germany, where he was a trainee in the late 90s.

He pulled several stuns that could characterize him as a spoilt child at the time; on this expedition he earned himself a description of a fat baby boy from his colleagues at military side APR.  

Gone are the days. Inspirational, mature and commanding are the words that describe Rwanda’s Kaiser now days.

The Sweden based attacking midfielder has successfully managed to come a long way. He now cuts posture of a mature, calm, intelligent and focused man. 

He is one of the most organized players who never thought like mediocre local players who often subscribed to powers of superstition. Most of his colleagues often spent money to seek powers of juju an exercise he often considered fallacy.

Considering this local understanding as an erroneous belief certainly enabled him turn into a respected professional soccer player.

I was pleased with the level of maturity exhibited by him on pitch, and off pitch after Nations Cup qualifier 4-0 drubbing against Liberia.

Displaying a leading and inspirational role as skipper on the pitch notwithstanding, he astutely brazened out with the local soccer governing body, Ferwafa, and other stakeholders.

Off the pitch, he absolutely distanced himself from the remarks earlier on made by sports minister Joseph Habineza.

The Rwanda international candidly put it that all Rwanda’s professionals are craving to feature for the national team contrary to what the sports minister told the media on a visit to the national team recently .

The minister did not have kind words for the pros in particular Belgium based Jimmy Mulisa branding him a mercenary.

I guessed right that the honorable minister did not understand the relationship between Mulisa and Ferwafa as a result of rare contact with team.
The minister claims that Mulisa was demanding extra payments to play for the national soccer team against Liberia. 

This was not just a sheer hoax but purely illogical. Mulisa’s woes began when he was not given the promised packaged for the qualifier against Cameroon.

Like anybody would do, he inquired why his package had suddenly changed he was branded rebellious and mercenary.

Look here, if the player was a mercenary as put by the minister he would have not come for the match against Equatorial Guinea a match that followed Cameroon match.

Like I said, there is no constant and clear dialogue between sports ministry and Ferwafa. Or the relationship is hypocritical.

This is why the minister gets on the wrong footing when the press pushes him against the wall and makes miscalculated comments about players.

Here is the story unthinkable. Mulisa did not jet in for the match simply because he was not invited as put it by Ferwafa and sports minister.

It is said that Mulisa’s Belgian club Fc Hamme was not in position to field him in fear of being stripped of points by Fifa because of fielding a player who is supposed to be on international duty.

The Belgian club, therefore, contacted Ferwafa to find out whether Mulisa was called to join the national team.

The story now gets ironically interesting that Ferwafa informed Fc Hamme that the match against Liberia had been postponed.

Even skipper Karekezi has clearly put his view across the board that federation has internal administrative problems yet to be sorted out.

The skipper has observed and expressed concern that the federation needs to work better. But the question is; is there anybody going to listen to him and act?

I must echo the captain’s cry that it is Ferwafa’s administrative fundamental problem professionals like Hamad Katauti Ndikumana, Henri Munyaneza, Claude Kalisa, Fritz Nkusi and others are nowhere for the national team. As an administrator, you must avoid being carried way by personal friction and unearth solutions to any problem.

It’s now been almost over a year that former national captain Katauti self-exiled himself from international duty because of differences with Ferwafa.

I doubt whether the federation has labored to sort those differences. We soccer fans do not care about your differences.

We simply need all good players at any cost to restore our lost brief glory.

Katauti is now rated a highly reliable and potent centre half for Cyprus’s Anorthosis Famagusta, which is preparing to face Tottenham Spurs in Uefa first round first leg on Thursday 20th September in London.

The Rwandan superb defender is understood to be a kingpin in back four of the Cyprus club.  Why would we accept to leave a talented defender Katauti at the cost of mere personal differences?

This is purely a total malfunction in administration and a behavior against principles of management. A good administrator should have the capacity to iron out personal differences for better results and atmosphere.

It is very off-putting to hear that federation officials interfere with work of the national team, Micheal Nees. It is established that whenever the German coach submits the list of professionals to Ferwafa for invitation the federation gets it edited.

The federation usually looks through the list of players selected by the coach and throws out some players a move I think that undermines the coach’s job. Nees has, before, called vastly experienced right back Fritz Nkusi. But he has been told never to call the defender again.

Then, what’s the job of Coach Nees if the federation administrators can do the selection of players?

Mounting to disappointment was when Ferwafa officials instructed Nees to make changes in his squad a couple of days before the qualifier against Liberia.

An insider discloses that Ferwafa ordered Micheal Nees to drop several players from the team and include the federation’s choice. It is learnt that the German stuck to his guns and told the federation that he was not ready to drop any players.

Nees stuck by his guns started the players that Ferwafa wanted dropped by putting up a good show in a 4-0 drubbing of Liberia in which one of the “unwanted players” got on to the  score sheet. 

Getting close to some members of the national team you will learn that the working relationship between Ferwafa officials and Micheal Nees are strained. 

I can therefore assert that as result of sticking to professional ethics, Nees’s chances of getting his contract renewed are dim. It may be very soon that Ferwafa comes up with editor’s favorite headline that is Nees demands a pay rise.

I would neither rate Nees as a good coach nor castigate him as a poor coach simply because the environment in which he is working does not provide a proper yardstick.

I was one of the supporters for change when the new regime was brought in at Ferwafa, but I am now totally disgusted as a soccer fan.

We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true.

We must stand side by side with the truth and part company with masqueraders. 

Ends

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