THE Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) has shortlisted seven coaches from the list of 25 applicants that applied for the national team coaching position.
Among the shortlisted applicants are English duo of Stephen Constantine and Peter James Butler, Serbian Ratomir Djukovic, Kim Poulsen (Tanzania), Wojciek Lazarek (Poland), Paolo Cesar Lopez (Brazil) and Desi Curry (Ireland).
Ferwafa Vice President Vedaste Kayiranga said yesterday in a news conference, “The committee set up to look into the different applications perused over 30 applications and concluded the final phase of the screening before they submitted the names of the seven shortlisted candidates to the Ferwafa,”
The seven are being engaged in talks to access their demands and conditions before picking the most suitable coach who will officially be unveiled before the end of this week as a replacement for Eric Nshimiyimana whose contract was not renewed following his expiration last month.
Among the seven coaches, Constantine is considered the frontrunner for the Amavubi coaching post because of his vast and wealthy football resume.
Constantine has managed the national sides of Nepal (1999-2001), India (2002-05), Malawi (2007-08) and Sudan in 2009. He has been first team coach of the English Championship side Millwall for the 2005-06 season.
Most recently, he managed Nea Salamis in the Cypriot First Division, after guiding them to promotion from the Cypriot Second Division. He holds the UEFA pro licence, and, as a member of FIFA’s elite coaches’ panel, runs courses around the world for coaches and instructors.
Former Amavubi coach Ratomir Djukovic is also another major candidate fit for the job. The 68-year old gained international acclaim when he led Rwanda into the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 20014. Ironically, Rwanda qualified at the expense of Ghana, a nation whose national team he would soon take over and lead to 2006 World Cup, in a memorable qualifier in Kigali on July 6, 2003.
At the final tournament in Tunisia in January 2004, Rwanda, among the smallest ever to qualify, came within minutes of progressing from the group and entering quarterfinals. Dujkovic’s contract with Rwanda expired in mid-2004 and he left after failure to agree a new one with Rwandan FA.
The other contender is Polish Wojciek Lazarek who managed Sudan between 2002 and 2004.
Others are current Botswana coach English Peter James Butler who started managing the Zebras in February this year, Desi Curry from Ireland, former Tanzania head coach Danish Kim Poulsen and Brazilian Paolo Cesar Lopez.
The head coach due to be appointed will work with assistant coaches Andre Casa Mbungo and Vincent Mashami in the upcoming 2015 Afcon first round qualifier against Libya due in Tunis on May 18.
The first leg matches will be played between May 16 and 18 with return fixtures slated for May 30th, 31st or June 1st.
In case Amavubi qualify to the next round, they will play the winner between Namibia and Congo.
The Winner between Namibia/Congo and Rwanda/Libya will join Group A which comprises of defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.