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Rwanda: Cecafa – Inadequate Amavubi U-17 Preps Raises Concerns

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Preparations for the Under-17 national football team bound for the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) competition seem to be marred by poor preparations, despite the tournament starting in just 23 days.

The tournament is scheduled for December 13-28 and serves as qualification for the U-17 African Cup of Nations, a showpiece that will decide which African teams will represent the continent in the U-17 World Cup.

Despite the significance of the tourney, Times Sport has learned that officials in Rwanda’s football team have not taken steps to prepare the team so far, yet other countries have already embarked on training camps and playing friendlies.

Speaking to this newspaper, a source who preferred to stay anonymous because they don’t speak for the national team said not a single player has reported to camp, as discussions between FERWAFA and the Ministries of Education (MINEDUC) and Ministry of Sports (MINISPOR) to facilitate the team’s endeavors are taking a lot of time.

“Two weeks ago the coach released a provisional squad of the players summoned for the team, and he sent it to FERWAFA to organize the availability of the players but until now, he is still waiting for their decision,” the source said.

“We know that FERWAFA has written to the Ministry of Sports asking for some facilitation. However, the Ministry said that it is still contacting MINEDUC to get permission for the youngsters to report for camp all of them are in school.”

The CECAFA U-17 will take place in Rwanda and nine countries will take part in the two-week competition.

Rwanda has not featured at the AFCON U-20 or U-17 finals since hosting the tournaments’ 2009 and 2011 editions, respectively.

The U-17 Amavubi team has in the past made a milestone of being the only CECAFA country that has ever participated in any FIFA World Cup, as the starlets defied the odds when they qualified for the 2011 Fifa World U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Meanwhile, the Amavubi U-20 side also suspended their participation in the U-20 CECAFA tourney that will take place in Tanzania this month.

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