Minister Mitali pays tribute to retired Karekezi
Olivier Karekezi (In white)
The Minister for Sports and Culture, Protais Mitali paid a glowing tribute to former Amavubi Stars captain Olivier ‘Fils’ Karekezi, saying that he is a role model for the younger generation.
Mitali is one of several officials who took turn to heap praises on arguably one of the country’s most talented player of all time.
A serious knee injury forced Karekezi, 30, to cut short his playing career last week, thus denying him the opportunity to see out the eight months that remained on his two-year contract with Tunisian club CA Bizertin.
“We thank him for his great contribution to the national team; he was a great player for the country, he will be missed by the team,” Minister Mitali told the media this week.
“He will always be called upon when needed to contribute to the development our football because he is a role model for the younger players, they will always want to learn from him.”
Karekezi, who scored 25 goals from 53 appearances for his country), announced retirement from international football about three months ago.
He was part of the Amavubi side that featured in 2004 Nations Cup finals in Tunisia – the country’s most successful football team to date.
He retained a regular place in the national team until recently. The striker suffered a left knee injury while playing for CA Bizertin against CAF Confederation Cup champions Club Sfaxien in a Tunisian league match last month.