According to Wikipedia, a catch 22 situation can be defined as a predicament characterized by absurdity or senselessness or a situation in which a person is frustrated by a paradoxical rule or set of circumstances that preclude any attempt to escape from them.
This can be said of Fifa U20 World Cup-winning coach Sellas Tetteh reign as the national football team’s manager.
Some time back, about three years ago, President Paul Kagame blasted the local football federation, Ferwafa for the poor state of football in the country.
In 2004, a bunch of unknown footballers made history as Rwanda made her maiden appearance at the African Nation’s cup in Tunisia.
Players like Jimmy Gatete, Olivier Karekezi, and Jimmy Mulisa enjoyed a heroes’ welcome on their return to a grateful nation.
However, much of the team disappeared in oblivion immediate after the 2004 showing, some of the players have disappeared without trace and the team’s fortunes have been on a decline.
Coaches have came and gone without achieving any success compared to 2004. Tetteh being the latest causality.
For now qualification campaigns have passed, Rwanda has tried to relive the 2004 memories however with no success. The success of 2004 was not taken as the stepping stone to greater heights.
Then the President said, “We should examine ourselves; devise ways of refusing to be despised”.
“I didn’t hide my frustration (as) it (Amavubi) hasn’t been working as expected,” the President noted.
The chance of 2004 was not built on; many chances have passed. The team wasn’t followed up to ensure continuity. The football administrators only looked at short time results without looking to the future.
Short term results not looking to the future should be discouraged if Rwanda’s football is to move to greater heights and this can only achieved with giving chance to young local players.
Looking at the senior national team that is supposed to be fed by the national junior category teams, it’s still a team of players whose pension days are near. Not very many junior players have been coming through.
Despite football, being the Rwanda’s most popular sport is faced with classic irony about its hindered development caused especially by those who are elected or appointed to manage it.
The federation is unfortunately seemed to be driven by personal interests of the individuals who run it.
The available funds in most cases are not spent on the critical areas that would drive success especially supporting those who are involved in developing talent through academies but rather on other things that may not really benefit the nation.
Even the selection of the players to be in the national teams is usually biased by influential decision makers which totally destroys the game and hinders success.
The most successful football nations on the continent are those that have developed talent at the lower youth levels like Egypt, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana and Tunisia.
The West African nations have survived on the financial support of their player trades in Europe to maintain good academies and junior sides of major league clubs.
East and Central Africa hardly has any stars in Europe and most of the countries’ national teams don’t feature in most continental and global events because of the above reasons.
The case of Rwanda is quite different with a lot of commitment from the senior leadership of the country; a president who personally supports the game of football!
The federation must put dedicated efforts to support youth development initiatives and promote competition.
Amavubi coach since 2004
Ratomir Dujkovic (Contract not renewed)
Josip Kuze (Walked out)
Raoul Shungu (Interim)
Eric Nhsimiyimana (Interim)
Sellas Tetteh (Resigned)