Rwanda turns focus to 2016 CHAN
AMAVUBI HEAD COACH Stephen Constantine is staying put despite Caf sanctions off disqualifying Rwanda from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Over the weekend, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) rejected an appeal by Rwanda against their disqualification from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Rwanda’s failure means Congo Brazzaville will compete in Group A of qualifying, alongside defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.
Rwanda were expelled after beating Congo in the second round, as the latter argued Daddy Birori had been ineligible to play in the tie.
The player has both Rwanda and DR Congo passports, both of which bear different names and different dates of birth.
Libya, who Rwanda beaten in the first round of qualifying, had previously lodged a claim against the striker but their protest had failed.
With Rwanda out of contention for a spot in the 2015 Afcon finals, Amavubi will proceed with preparations of the upcoming tournament in two years’ time according to head coach Constantine.
Constantine said on Sunday, “After hearing the appeal rejection, I can’t understand how CAF can take these decisions,”
“This CAF situation was not in the master plan, I don’t think anyone expected us to qualify. The fact that we did is a huge plus and I think we showed Africa and most of the world that Rwandese football is alive. We are on the map for what we have done in the past few months,”
“It would have been fantastic to go and play Nigeria, South Africa and the rest. Caf has taken their decision, we have appealed and lost it and for me nothing has changed,”
“Personally, these games with CAF was icing on the cake. My target is to build the team for CHAN 2016 and that has not changed. People are asking me whether if am staying or if am gonna go away but to me nothing has changed,”
“We got into the group stages fair and square. We beat two very good sides on the pitch which is where the game should be played and I think we shocked a lot of people in Africa and now we have to move on,”
“There are two Fifa calendar days in September, October and November where I expect to play at least three games in bid to continue building our team and develop our players such that they can be in good shape and ready for 16-nation tournament,” added the former Malawi and Sudan head coach.
Rwanda who has featured once in the 2011 CHAN tournament in Sudan and failed to go past the group stages, will be seeking to host and win the tournament which will be held for the first time on the regional soil since its inception in 2007.
It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season.
Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, don’t qualify to take part in the African Championship of Nations.