FIFA issues ‘ultimatum’ to Ferwafa over staggering debt to McKinstry

Johnny McKinstry, who was appointed as Amavubi head coach at the age of 29, gives instructions to his players during training at Amahoro Stadium ahead of 2016 CHAN finals. File.

RWANDA Football Federation (Ferwafa) has been issued with an ultimatum by FIFA to settle the debt of former Amavubi coach Johnny McKinstry or risk serious penalty.

The development was confirmed to Times Sport by Ferwafa General Secretary, François Régis Uwayezu, on Tuesday.

The local football governing body has  until April 25 to pay McKinstry, who was sacked as the national team’s head coach three years ago, about Rwf194 million ($215,000) for his unlawful dismissal in June 2016.

Ferwafa remains with nine days to finalise the payment or face heavy sanctions.

Uwayezu said: “It is true; FIFA gave us one month to sort out the payment with coach McKinstry. The warning letter came in on April 25.”

Failure to pay the staggering amount could result in Rwanda being banned from all FIFA-sanctioned activities.

“We have written to the Ministry of Sports about the issue, because the national team coach is always their responsibility, and hopefully everything will be settled soon.”

McKinstry, 33, is currently head coach at Saif Sporting Club, in Bangladesh, which signed Rwanda international Emery Bayisenge at the end of last year as a free agent.

The Irish-born tactician was fired as Amavubi coach on June 18, 2016 following a dismal run of results despite having guided the team to the quarter-finals of the 4th African Nations Championship (CHAN) staged in Rwanda earlier that year.

Before his sacking, McKinstry had just signed a one-year contract extension that would have ended in May 2017.

He failed to qualify Amavubi for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals tournament, having lost 2-3 to Mozambique in Kigali in the latest qualifier, in addition to 1-0 defeats to visitors Ghana and hosts Mauritius.

Besides guiding Rwanda to the round of last eight at CHAN 2016, McKinstry also helped his youthful side to the title match of the 2015 CECAFA Senior Challenge in Ethiopia where they lost to Uganda.

McKinstry also previously managed Sierra Leone national team between 2013 and 2014, and FK Kauno Žalgiris, in the Lithuania top tier, last year.

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