Ferwafa poised ahead of appeal

Dady Birori

Dady Birori

The Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) is convinced that the outcome of Wednesday’s hearing at the CAF headquarters in Cairo will be in their favour.

Rwanda will present their case to the Caf Board of Appeal hoping that the continental football governing body will reverse the decision to disqualify the Amavubi from the Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualifiers.

A three-man team including the Ferwafa president Vincent DegauleNzamwita, secretary general Olivier Mulindahabi and the Ferwafa lawyer Emmanuel Ndajigimana will present Rwanda’s case today hoping for a positive conclusion.

“We are confident that we shall win this appeal as long as the CAF Board of Appeal is objective. We have read the laws and constitutions and for sure everything is clear,” revealed Mulindahabi.

This follows Caf’s decision to ban Rwanda for using an ineligible player with two identities – DadyBirori as he is known in Rwanda and TadyAgitiEtekiama – a name he uses at his club AS Vita in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Born in Kinshasa, Birori received Rwandan nationality in 2009 while playing for Mukura Victory Sport in the topflight division and has since featured for the Amavubi before receiving Congolese nationality last year.

“When Birori received Rwandan nationality in 2009, he did not have any Congolese documents. He has been Rwandan for as long as we know him,” explained Mulindahabi in an exclusive interview with supersport.com.

Birori whose Rwandan passport indicates that he was born on December 12, 1986 also possesses a Congolese passport under the names TadyAgitiEtekiama that indicates he was born on December 13, 1990 that he received last year.

It is this double identity that Caf based on to ban the player a fortnight ago before turning their guns on Rwanda a week later wielding the axe that sent the East African country out of the continental showpiece.

Mulindahabi mentioned that, “According to the Congolese constitution, a national is not allowed to have dual citizenship. So how did Birori get Congolese nationality?”

With emphasis on this argument and many others, Mulindahabi a lawyer by profession believes that Rwanda will emerge victorious after today’s appeal.

This followed a complaint filed by the Congolese Football Federation (Fecofoot) after their 2-0 victory over Rwanda in Pointe Noir in July, a game in which Birori featured in.

Congo Brazzaville then travelled to Kigali and lost 2-0 to tie the aggregate at 2-2 and force a penalty shootout which Rwanda dominated 4-3 to qualify for the group stage qualifiers. Birori did not play this game as he was summoned by Caf over his ineligibility.

Rwanda was replaced by Congo Brazzaville in Group A alongside Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.

Birori had earlier scored a hat-trick as Rwanda shocked Libya in the return leg in Kigali after a 0-0 result in Tunisia in May. Libya’s complaint based on the same argument was thrown out by Caf.

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