The New Times (Kigali)

30 July 2013

Rwanda: Amavubi Stars Fans Remain Positive On Team's Future

It's only natural that there would be a divide in opinions whenever Amavubi Stars lose a match. And it is inevitable that the team's latest failure to deliver results when needed most has continued to generate divided debate among the fans.

Rwanda won the second leg 1-0 against Ethiopia over the weekend to level the tie 1-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 reverse from the first leg in Addis Ababa, but lost the tie 5-6 on penalties hence failing in the bid to qualify for next year's CHAN competition to be staged in South Africa.

However, despite the painful defeat albeit on spot kick lottery, most fans that Times Sport talked to remain hopeful of a bright future for Amavubi stars basing on the good game displayed on Saturday.

Jean Baptiste Havugimana, a Rwandan based in Zimbabwe says, "This is good to use local coaches, Nigeria won this year's African Cup of Nations with a Nigerian coach (Stephen Keshi), Egypt claimed three consecutive African titles with an Egyptian coach (Hassan Shehata)."

"It is a matter of giving them time just and don't expect immediate miracles," he noted, in reaction to our story in the Monday paper, titled, 'Nshimiyimana takes failed bid in stride.'

Geoffrey Asiimwe, who is based in Uganda, said, "Rwanda was just not lucky, but they played so well to see off Ethiopia. Sometimes football is just unfair but I can see a brilliant future if they continue with that morale."

Another fan, who only identified himself as Jean in Brussels, Belgium said, "True, Rwanda need to start playing with a clear and real tactical plan otherwise this 'hit and run' style will never lead the country to any silverware but where I differ is that we don't need experienced but better skilled coaches."

"Rwanda football body (Ferwafa) should set a master class annually for local coaches to enhance their skills in tactics, put emphasis in training youth or lower division clubs' coaches so that we can have young players who are physically, technically and tactically aware," he added.

However, David Sharangabo of Kagitumba, Nyagatare District, a diehard fan of the national team told Times Sport, "I can't express my anger enough, Saturday's Amavubi failure to qualify for CHAN was one of my sad moments because we were favourites as we were playing at home."

Emile Mworoha, who was at the Stade de Kigali for the game says, "We (Rwanda) played well and managed to equalise but penalty shot-outs are always a lottery, which can go either way. We just lacked efficiency in-front of the Ethiopia goal, otherwise we deserved to win and we won the game but lost the tie."

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