Amavubi in search for friendly matches ahead of CHAN 2020

Rwanda reached the CHAN finals tournament for a third consecutive time last October after beating Ethiopia 2-1 on aggregate in the final qualifiers round. / File.

Rwanda football team, Amavubi, plans to play three build-up matches as part of the preparations ahead of the 6th African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Cameroon, in April.

The 2020 CHAN finals tournament is scheduled for April 4-25.

According to reports, the hosts Cameroon have formally requested Rwanda for a buildup match on March 28, just a week before the tournament gets underway.

In an interview with this publication on Monday, Régis Uwayezu, secretary-general of the local football governing body (Ferwafa), confirmed that the search for friendly matches had begun.

“We want to secure (about) three buildup matches to help the team be more ready for the competition. There is nothing concrete to share but soon as there is a breakthrough, we will announce it,” Uwayezu said.

Although the Ferwafa official declined to confirm or deny the information, Times Sport understands that Amavubi have two lined-up international friendly matches against Congo-Brazzaville and holders Morocco before end of this month.

“I cannot discuss the teams we are in talks but we have a number of options. We have had communication with five countries so far.”

The national football team – for domestic league-based players – booked its CHAN 2020 ticket after edging out Ethiopia 2-1 aggregate thanks to two goals from striker Ernest Sugira in either leg of the double-header tie.

Amavubi will be competing in CHAN for a fourth time overall and third in a row since hosting the 2016 edition where Rwanda was knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners DR Congo.

CHAN finals tournament, which is reserved for players featuring in their respective local leagues, is contested by 16 teams split into four groups. Amavubi, Uganda Cranes and the Taifa Stars of Tanzania will represent the Cecafa region at this year’s competition.

Meanwhile the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has selected Claude Ishimwe as the only Rwandan among referees who will handle the 2020 CHAN tournament.

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