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Drama as Rwanda National Team Appoints Former Striker as Interim Coach

KIGALI, Rwanda – The Rwanda National Football team will have a new coach for their final AFRICON qualifier against Group H leaders Ghana. The former National team striker Jimmy Mulisa has been appointed as the interim coach.

This surprise decision came after a series of dramatic events. First, on Aug. 18, the Ministry of Sports and Culture terminated the contract of the Head Coach, the Irish man, Johnny McKinistry, with two years left.

Then, the ministry hired Gilbert “Yaounde” Kanyankole on Aug. 19. However, in a stunning move, Kanyankole was fired four days later and replaced with Mulisa. The announcement came after he had finished naming the 23-man-squad to join him in preparation for their final match against Ghana.

Talking to the New Times yesterday, Kanyankole expressed shock at the decision saying, “they have told us that we are no longer Amavubi coaches, and we have to respect the decision.”

Also relinquished of his duties was Eric Nshimiyimana who had been an assistant coach under former McKinstry.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Lt. Col. Patrice Rugambwa also told The New Times, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”we have handed the duties of interim head coach to Jimmy as negotiations with the other two coaches (Kanyankore and Nshimiyimana) didn’t go as expected.”[/perfectpullquote]

He continued to say they were also on the lookout for someone else who would work alongside Mulisa on a temporary basis until substantive coaching staff has been appointed.

In Mulisa’s professional Career, he played for APR FC between 2002 and 2005. He scored 16 goals for the side. Then, he signed for Belgian second division side RAEC Mons where he played for a season before joining KRC Mechelen.  He went on to enjoy several stints in Belgium and Venezuela before coming back to Rwanda this year. He is also the Technical Director for the Rwanda football governing body.

His first game will be against Ghana. Rwanda who is already out of the qualification race will only have the pride to play for after they lose to Mozambique and Mauritius.


Featured Photo: Jimmy Mulisa protects the ball (Photo Courtesy: The New Times)

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