France-born Forward Monnet-Paquet Wants to Play for Rwanda
French-born Saint- Etienne forward Kevin Monnet-Paquet says he’s open to representing Rwanda should he be given a call-up.
The 30-year-old Saint- Etienne player was born in Bourgoin-Jallieu, south-eastern France to a French father and mother of Rwandan decent, but has represented Les Blues at the U18, U19 and U21 levels.
The striker, who came to Rwanda then left for Togo before his parents relocated to France, confirmed on Friday that he is now ready to play for Amavubi.
“It’s been a long time. I want to go back there, I often think about it. Before the end of my career, I think I’ll go play for my mother’s land, where I lived,” he said in an interview with RMC Sport.
Monnet-Paquet, further revealed that there has been previous attempts to rule him for Amavubi’s switch.
“They often called me in. It was not always well coordinated, but why not?” he explained.
Six years ago, the first attempt to convince him to play for Rwanda was made by former FERWAFA President Celestin Ntagungira Abegga, but the player never gave a positive nod by then.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“My first memories of football were when I was in Africa, I lived in Africa when I was little, and I started watching football on TV at the time of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN). Football is more than a sport and Rwanda is my mother’s country of origin. Just before the war (1994 Genocide against the Tutsi), we went to Togo for two years, then I returned to France,”[/perfectpullquote]
“I know what my mother experienced when she was young, what the people in my family lived in. I know where Rwanda came from, I have not forgotten, I think that Rwanda has changed a lot since then. It would be nice to return back.
“If we can help for the development of football, it would be good. I think I will return before the end of my career,” added Monnet-Paquet.
The tiny Central African nation is currently out of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, thus Monnet-Paquet will be expected to don the famous Yellow and Green jersey when they begin the 2021 AFCON Qualifying campaign in 2020.
Rwanda currently sits bottom of Group H with only two points after playing five match days of the 2019 AFCON Qualification campaign.