Rwanda Withdraws as 2019 FIFA U-17 WCup Potential Host

The Ferwafa president Nzamwita Vincent addressing media recently. Courtesy Photo

Rwanda has withdrawn from hosting the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Tournament, the country’s soccer governing body said on Thursday.

The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) said it decided to withdraw from hosting the event due to time factor and logistics aspects.

The FERWAFA president Nzamwita Vincent said in a media statement released on Thursday that, “After submitting our intent last year to host the tournament and having critically realized that we are left with a few months to the start of the tournament (tournament expected to be held between August-October, 2019), we believe we don’t have enough time to logistically meet the minimum requirements of hosting a successful 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Tournament that we desire as a nation.”

“We have talked with our major stakeholders involved in this process from the onset and we think this is the right decision to take. We however, remain committed and open to hosting any other football event that would be entrusted to us in future,” he said.

However, the delay by FIFA to carry out their inspection to access Rwanda’s readiness also hampered plans of ensuring that the required facilities requested by FIFA would be availed on time after their visit which was initially set for late February but was later postponed to a further date which is yet to be known.

The FIFA inspection visit would have enabled FERWAFA to know possible areas they would need to expand or work on in terms of hosting facilities ahead of the final tournament if the hosting rights were to be granted to Rwanda.

In November last year, Rwanda submitted her definitive bid book to host the memorable 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

In the bid book, six proposed stadiums were earmarked to host the tournament namely; Amahoro stadium, Stade de Kigali, Stade Umuganda, Stade Huye, Stade Muhanga (to be renovated) and Stade Bugesera (to be constructed).

Training facilities earmarked were Stade Kicukiro, Stade Mumena, Stade Kamena, Stade Musanze (to be renovated with an artificial turf), Ferwafa turf (to be renovated), Amahoro annexe training facility (to be renovated), Umuganda annexe training facility (to be renovated) and Bugesera training facility (to be constructed).

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