What can one do to be seen as patriotic?

Amavubi Stars have accepted defeat in their next 2010 World and Africa Nations Cup against Egypt even before a ball is kicked….at least by the look of it.

Amavubi Stars have accepted defeat in their next 2010 World and Africa Nations Cup against Egypt even before a ball is kicked….at least by the look of it.

I guess you’re starting to again wonder what’s wrong me. Nothing. …..just trying to be patriotic.

By not fixing one international friendly in their preparations plans for next weekend’s crucial encounter with the reigning African champions, Amavubi go into the game under    prepared, something pretty contrary to the situation in their opponents’ camp.

With all other numerous advantages that the Egypt players enjoy over their Rwandan counterparts, the Pharaohs will enjoy that extra bit of readiness, physically and mentally after taking part in the Fifa Confederations Cup in South Africa.

While the five-time continental champions were enjoying their historical 1-0 win over the world champions, Italy and a good work-out against Brazil and the United States, the Amavubi Stars were playing in a Charity game against an understandably under-strength, weak All-Stars select side!

The coaching staff, the players, the fans and the big men, who makes key decisions (including scouting for foreign reinforcement) on the national team shouldn’t look too much into the 4-0 win over the All-Stars side, though it had the likes of Samuel Eto’O, Didier Drogba, the Toure brothers, Kolo and Yaya, Rigobert Song and his nephew Alexandre Song.

The game, while good for the day’s occasion, which was to raise money for the ‘One-Dollar’ Campaign, it did not provide the sort of preparation Branko Tucak’s side need ahead of probably the Croat’s biggest game since taking over the job last year.

Firstly, it was just a charity game, so there is not need for players to give it a real go and secondly, the visiting star took to the field barely an hour after landing at Kigali international airport—the played because they had committed themselves but in the ideal world, they wouldn’t have played.

As if all the afore mentioned factors are not bad enough to put the players in a not-so-good state of mind ahead of what promises to be a tough assignment next weekend, the powers that be went ahead to give the coach new players he had never seen or heard!

However good these three players, all hailing from Cameroon, may be, the timing of their arrival came probably a little too late for the coach to have a genuine assessment of what each of them is capable of.

To give the coach, players he knows nothing about just a couple of days before he picks his final squad for such an important game as one against Egypt is a desperate measure to the part of whoever brought them.

Probably Tucak somehow had a clear picture of the team he takes to Cairo weeks ago, but now with new players coming in late into the preparations, he’s going to be forced to make changes, something that could backfire on him.

Lose this game and he’s under pressure to try and resurrect Rwanda’s hopes finishing in the top three hence qualifying for the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola—and failure to qualify for either the World Cup or Nations Cup is likely to be end of his (Tucak) association with Rwandan football.

The build-up to Rwanda’s biggest game since qualifying for the 2004 Nations Cup has not been the best one would hope for given the nature of the task ahead—the arrival of the three new players is likely to have a negative effect on the existing team as certain players will feel their places on the team are threatened.

Had these players, good or not, come a month or so earlier, they would have enough time to integrate in the system, and even the existing players also have time to get used to them and the fact that they’re part of the family.

Yet the problem with our friends responsible for making such key decisions as having neutralized players on the national team is that when one talks about whether these players are real good enough to earn a Rwandan passport, he becomes unpatriotic, which takes me to question what one can do to be seen as patriotic?