Cast your mind back to the day Rwanda beat Ghana1-0 to qualify for her maiden African Nations Cup finals back in 2003. Had somebody then told you then that in seven years time the team could go seven international matches without a single win you probably would have laughed in their face - or accused them of having one too many!
But after a disastrous last seven months the team is in a great danger of not only failing to qualify for the 2010 Nations Cup but also stooping to a new low and possibly one of the biggest low points in Rwanda’s football history.
One draw and six loses in seven international matches is really bad but compared to some of the things that have happened since 2004, it was perhaps inevitable but by no means acceptable.
Now with Zambia’s Chipolopolo the next opponent on November 14 in Kigali, only a convincing win will calm the waters.
Failure to beat Zambia will not only signal the end of Tucak Branko disastrous reign as Amavubi Stars coach but also some of the ageing players who have surely become a liability to than an asset to the team’s progress.
Seven years ago or slightly less, Rwanda was being talked about as one of the Africa’s strong emerging football nations and we all enjoyed the tag and fast forward, we’re slowly but surely fading off the line. Why? We should save that for another day.
The current team if better managed has the potential to go places unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
Rwanda had the chance to qualify for the second Nations Cup final this time around but a mixture of poor management, poor tactical decision by the coach and a bunch of less committed players, it’s looking very unlikely unless something extraordinary happens on November 14.
Continuity is very essential to achieving success but sorry to say, it is one factor that doesn’t exist in the vocabulary of Rwanda’s football administrators.
If only they had built the future of the country’s football [in this case the national team], on the team that played in Tunis in 2004, only God knows where we’d be by now.
But it’s if, and the status quo is likely to remain the same for the foreseeable future.
Should he stay or should he go?
We have always wondered why Tucak doesn’t like to speak to the media and as his ill-fated spell comes to an end, we know why.
When he opens his mouth he says nothing to write home about, winds everybody up and does far more harm than good. He talks of winning to only continue losing.
I do not dispute that the Croat has given his best shot in trying to achieve something with team over the last one year - firstly to repair the damage done by his predecessors bar Ratomir Djokovic and Josip Kuze - but perhaps he should simply have done a little better.
Unfortunately, football is a result oriented business and Tucak has not brought the needed results to save his job, that’s why he should have gone long ago as the his team has done nothing to but embarrassment to Rwandans.
I remember writing in these pages that Tucak was a very lucky chap because with his record of just one draw and six defeats in seven international matches, nowhere else would he still be in the job.
Now according to the Sports Minister Joseph Habineza, he has to win the Zambia game to save his job, failure to do so and he packs his bag and returns to where he came from.
John Barnes for Amavubi!
If Minister Habineza and Ferwafa manage to get John Barnes on board as Tucak’s replacement whether Rwanda qualifies for 2010 CAN or not, it would rank up there as probably their biggest achievement because they’ve not achieved much thus far.
Although it’s quite hard to prove Habineza’s claims that the former England international has shown interest in the Amavubi coaching job but if it’s true, and his salary fits in the government’s budget then he should be given the job immediately.
Having someone of his profile would surely boost the profile of Rwanda’s football, which has gone down the drain over the last couple of years, but again, it’s hard to prove the authenticity of his interest in the job until a deal is done and dusted.