April 24, 2019

Why Kigali’s Football Team AS Kigali Cannot Win Top Prize

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Coach Djuma Masudi Irambona has been living on borrowed time at AS Kigali

With seven games left to conclude the national football league, it is becoming rather straightforward that some coaches are now skating on thin ice. Their days as coaches for their respective clubs are numbered.

The latest in the string of coaches to be shown the exit is AS Kigali head Coach Djuma Masudi Irambona.

Just six months after replacing Coach Eric Nshimiyimana, the Burundian Masudi signed from Tanzania’s Simba FC is at the top of the unfortunate list.

In a surprise on Tuesday night, the Kigali City sponsored club confirmed the news that they have part ways with Coach Masudi.

The club secretary general Daniel Komezusenge confirmed the news later on revealing assistant coach Jean de Dieu Mateso has taken over.

The club is 7th on the table, 24 points behind topflight leaders APR FC. Masudi had won only seven games, drawn nine times and only won 7 fixtures out of 23 played.

Perhaps as well, it is logical to say that, Coach Masudi had no chance to finish in the top three teams this season. No wonder his seat was perched and the flames were threatening to finally engulf it anytime.

Masudi replaced Coach Eric Nshimiyimana last October after signing a one-year contract.

Just like Masudi, Coach Eric Nshimiyimana took the club to second position in the last season, but he did not maintain such a performance at the start of this season – leading to his own sacking.

Last year the club came close to winning the most coveted football prize in the country, a chance that would have guaranteed them a ticket to the CAF Champions League this season.

AS Kigali finished second, six points at the back of league champion APR FC with 18 wins, seven draws and six defeats out of 30 matches.

AS Kigali has struggled from season to another

In March last year, the club went one point clear at the top of the table standing after 15 rounds of matches.

Twice they topped the league. However, football pundits familiar with local league were  certain that AS Kigali does not have the guts to win the trophy!

Kakooza Nkuriza Charles, commonly known as “KNC”, who owns TV and Radio 1, commented that AS Kigali cannot win the 2017/18 football league title. He actually vowed to strip naked and walk to Gasogi if the City of Kigali sponsored side won their first league title.

However, Nshimiyimana’s chance for winning a historic first league title became slim, when his side was left with four games to conclude the season the team drew with Musanze 1-all in the final game and lost Kirehe 1-0.

It is not just results that put pressure on Nshimiyimana, but also AS Kigali’s transfer business has not paid dividends.

That same year, the club spent an undisclosed sum on new players like Ugandan Frank Kalanda, and Dominique Savio Nshuti from Rayon Sports.

Nshuti who is reported to have pocketed Rwf 16 million, for instance was a flop, he was signed with an injury, but after 7 months he requested for a transfer release to join APR.

AS Kigali has not shown improvement this season yet in football, results need to translate into winning titles.

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