Newcomers to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Burundi has released its 23-men squared for the 32nd edition of the continental championship with three players from the Rwandan league.
Head coach Olivier Niyungeko confirmed the final team ahead of the deadline on Monday ahead of the start of the tournament in Egypt.
Mukura VS mid-fielder Gael Duhayindavyi is part of the squad together with teammate David Nshimirimana and AS Kigali defender Omar Ngando.
Former Rayon Sports defender and the captain is the other country’s most capped player Karim Nizigiyimana Makenzi now with Vipers of Uganda was also named on the team.
Burundi has closed border with Rwanda with no Rwandans crossing over as reaction to its allegations that the government in Rwanda was involved in failed 2015 coup.
Bujumbura has also imposed export ban on Rwanda, with no Burundi good coming to Rwanda. However, Burundians flock freely into Rwanda, in addition to more than 80,000 Burundian refugees.
The AFCON squad also has more former players who have previously featured in Rwandan top clubs like APR, Kiyovu, Rayon Sports and Police FC.
The includee; former Rayon Sports player Pierrot Kwizera, Shassir Nahimana, former Kiyovu, mid-fielder Francis Moustapha.
The Burundi AFCON squad also has quite a number of experienced faces on the team who plied their trade in the Rwandan national league, namely former Police FC striker Laudit Mavugo, as well as former APR attacker Selemani Ndikumana and former Rayon Sports player Shaban Hussein ‘Tchabalala
Burundi kicks off the campaign against Nigeria, the three time AFCON winners on 22 June in Group B, before facing Guinea and Madgascare.
Burundi 23 Man Squad:
Goalkeepers: Jonathan Nahimana (KMC, Tanzania), Justine, Ndikumana (Sofapaka, Kenya), Arthur Mac Arakaza (Lusaka Dynamos, Zambia)
Defenders: Karim Nizigiyimana (Vipers, Uganda), Frederic Nsabiyumva (Chippa United, South Africa), Omar Mousaa (Sofapaka, Kenya), David Nshimirimana (Mukura Victory, Rwanda), Omar Ngando (AS Kigali, Rwanda), Christophe Nduwarugia (Amora, Portugal)
Midfielders: Pierrot Kwizera (Al Orouba, Oman), Gael Bigirimana (Hibernian, Scotland), Gael Duhayindavyi (Mukura Victory, Rwanda), Francis Moistapha (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Enock Nsabumukama (ZESCO United, Zambia), Shassir Nahimana (Al Mujaazal, Kuwait)
Forwards: Fiston Abdoul Razak (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Saido Berahino (Stoke City, England), Mohammed Amissi (NAC Breda, Netherlands), Cedric Amisi (Al Taawoun, Saudi Arabia), Shaban Hessein (Ethiopia Coffee, Ethoiopia), Elvis Kamsoba (Melbourne Victory, Australia), Laudit Mavugo (NAPSA Stars, Zambia), Selemani Ndikumana (Al Aldalh, Kuwait)