Road to Qatar 2022: Amavubi’s Haruna calls for ‘serious’ preps

Haruna Niyonzima (#8) is the longest serving player in the current Amavubi ranks, having made his international debut in 2007. Courtesy.

Group E: Rwanda, Mali, 

Kenya and Uganda

HARUNA Niyonzima, the national football team captain, has said that Amavubi will need serious preparations and enough time together if they are to move past the group stage in the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Rwanda was on Tuesday placed in Group E along with Mali, and two neighbours Uganda and Kenya. Only the top team will advance to the third and final round of qualifiers.

Amavubi reached the group stage after edging out the Seychelles 10-0 on aggregate in the preliminary round last October.

Reacting to the draw, Niyonzima said, “It is a tough – but playable – group. I am confident if we get serious preparations and players get enough time together, we can beat anyone in the group.”

Of course, he added, the team would also use a couple of friendly matches to polish their game.

Matches in the group stage will start in October, with the 40 teams under ten groups vying for the available ten spots into the final round, which is due November 21 to December 18, 2021.

The final round will see the ten teams drawn into five home and away ties, with the five winners automatically securing tickets to represent Africa at the Fifa World Cup 2022.

Among the four Group E members, Rwanda (131st) is bottom in the latest FIFA world rankings released last month, with Mali (56th) at the top. Uganda are 77th, while Kenya are in 106th spot.

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