15 December 2012

Rwanda: APR, Vital?o Battle for RPF Honours

NATIONAL football league champions APR and Burundi's Vital'O will both be desperate for a win when they meet in the first game of the RPF's 25th anniversary football tournament today at Stade de Kigali.

Despite their short history, the military side that was formed by Rwandese Patriotic Front [RPF] during the liberation campaign has evolved into the country's leading football club wining thirteen Rwandan league titles and seven Peace Cup title.

On the regional scene, APR has won three Cecafa-Kagame club trophies in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

Head Coach Eric Nshimiyimana is focused on guiding the military side to silverware.

"This tournament means a lot to us and every player will go into the game with a winning mentality. We need such matches to be able to improve the team's effectiveness"

"We are facing a very good and experienced side which has international exposure, so both teams will display an entertaining game."

In an interview with Times Sport, Vital'O head coach Yaounde Kanyankole said they are aiming at lifting the title.

"We want to play good football and our mission is to win the tournament. We were delighted for having been invited to be part of this historical event. This shows that we are a family, many Rwandan administrators used to support and play for Vital'O before the liberation struggle. So this is actually their team."

"I have a new team which has only 12 players from last season. Five players will miss the first game against APR due to national team engagements but they will be here on Sunday," added Kanyankole.

Vital'O players who have stayed in Bujumbura to honour Burundi's CHAN qualifier against Kenya which will be played on Sunday include former Police defender Gilbert Kaze, Steven Sabo Nzigama, Léopold Nkurikiye, Hamissi Tambwe and Abdallah Masudi.

APR and Vital'O were also been drawn together in the preliminary round of the 2013 CAF Champions League due to be played in February and March next year.

The winner in today's encounter will proceed to the final where they will face the winner between six-time league champions Rayon Sport and Villa Sports Club whose clash is slated for Sunday at Stade de Kigali.

The third position play-off and the final match will be played on December 18.

The winner will walk away with US$10,000 (about Rwf6.6m) on top of the trophy while first and second runner-up will get US$7,000 and US$5,000 respectively. The fourth team will receive US$3,000.

The RPF Silver Jubilee will be marked under the theme: Governance, Prosperity and Dignity for our people.

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