Tuyisenge calls for early preps in World Cup qualifiers

Jacques Tuyisenge captained Amavubi in the final two group games of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. / File

Amavubi striker Jacques Tuyisenge has appealed to Rwanda football association that early preparations ‘is very key’ if the national team is to overcome Seychelles in the preliminary round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Rwanda and Seychelles will square off in a two-legged tie between September 2 and 10 for a spot in the group stage.

“We need to write a new chapter for Rwandan football and this will only be possible with a win against Seychelles,” Tuyisenge told Times Sport in a telephone interview from Angola on Thursday.

“However, early preparation is very key. It won’t come automatically, it never does.”

Rwanda will first visit Seychelles in first leg before hosting the decisive clash in Kigali. Amavubi lie in 133rd position in the latest FIFA rankings, while the Pirates of Seychelles are 59 spots lower.

“This is a tough journey that you are embarking on, we need to challenge ourselves and put our best effort together so as to bring football pride to our country again. With good preparations, I believe we have the potential to match past Seychelles,” added the former Police skipper.

During the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, Rwanda failed to make it past the first round after falling to Libya. Vincent Mashami’s side will be hoping to avoid a similar nightmare this year.

Should Amavubi see off Seychelles, they will be one of the 14 winners in the qualification playoffs to join the continent’s top-ranked 26 sides, who have been exempted from the preliminary stage of the long journey to Qatar.

The 40 teams will then be split into 10 groups of four for the second round. The 10 winners of those groups will then be drawn against each other in home-and-away fixtures, with the five victors landing tickets to Qatar 2022.