Rwandese players celebrate the winner Credit: New Times

Fédération Rwandaise de Football Association (FERWAFA) has withdrawn its bid to host the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Tournament.

Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) president Vincent Nzamwita confirmed the development

The FERWAFA president Vincent Nzamwita confirmed the development.

The main reasons forwarded for the decision is the limited time available to prepare for the tournament as well as logistics aspects.

Nzamwita, as quoted by the country’s football federation website noted;

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, 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.

FERWAFA takes this opportunity to thank all stakeholders (government Ministries and Agencies) that were involved in the intensive process of preparing the Rwanda’s bid book for the FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament.

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 2018  but was later postponed to a further date which is yet to be known.

The FIFA inspection visit would have enabled Fédération Rwandaise de Football Association (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.

After the inspection visit, the FIFA team of experts would then have to report back to the FIFA Council before a final decision on the definitive host of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup would be announced later in March.

In November 2017, Rwanda submitted her definitive bid book to host the memorable 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The bid book constituted the overview of the country, proposed hosting sites, maps of the hosting cities, sporting information, and the overview of the stadiums (existing and new ones to be constructed) which will host the games, training sites and medical facilities.

Included was also the safety and security in the country, hotels, travel between host team cities, travel within host cities, overview of finance conditions, overview of development and legacy of the country and human and labour rights, government declaration and hosting agreements.

According to the definitive 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).

The FIFA U-17 tournament is expected to be held between August-October, 2019.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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