President Paul Kagame Targets Witchcraft, Bribery, and Unprofessionalism in Drive to Reform Rwandan Football
On July 4, during the prominent ‘Ask The President’ session, Rwandan President Paul Kagame voiced his concerns over the manifold challenges threatening the development of football in the nation. Among the key issues he spotlighted were practices of witchcraft, unprofessional conduct, and bribery within the sports sector.
President Kagame’s remarks arrived in response to growing public concerns regarding the perceived lack of progress and return on investment in the sports sector, despite the extensive resources funneled into it. In particular, the public scrutiny is focused on the nation’s football sphere which, despite generous funding, has been struggling to showcase noteworthy results from its national teams.
Interestingly, the topic was stimulated by a viral picture of the President himself, seen actively engaging in a football game during the Football Delegation Tournament at the 73rd FIFA Congress in March. This image symbolized his personal investment in the sport, further emphasizing the importance of his recent address.
President Kagame was candid about the intricacies of the situation, acknowledging the dire issues plaguing Rwandan football. His commitment to overcoming these obstacles echoed in his words as he outlined the nation’s efforts to bolster football from a grassroots level.
One of the key strategies, as proposed by Kagame, is to target the youngest generation of aspiring footballers. Offering training opportunities for children from an early age has been a pivotal part of this plan. Simultaneously, the establishment of camps outfitted with the necessary infrastructure and materials was initiated to cultivate the future talents of the sport.
These initiatives, President Kagame suggests, could be further broadened to encompass schools and districts across Rwanda, thereby providing a holistic and widespread solution.
In the same vein, he highlighted the need for a complete overhaul in mindset among those steering these programs, especially the coaches and administrators. President Kagame expressed his dissatisfaction with a number of detrimental behaviors plaguing the sector, chief among them being witchcraft, bribery, and conflicts with referees.
These detriments not only distract from the true essence of the sport but also obstruct national progress in this area. Kagame was unambiguous in his message, stating, “With these actions, sports can go nowhere. These are things that have to stop in the first place.”
President Kagame, known for his proactive and dedicated approach to resolving national issues, declared his intent to personally tackle these challenges, especially witchcraft. His intervention, as he emphasized, would leave no room for excuses, and any individuals found engaging in counterproductive behaviors should brace for repercussions.
By stepping in, the president reinforces the idea that sports, particularly football, is not merely a recreational pastime but rather a national endeavor with far-reaching impacts on the lives of Rwandans. With President Kagame’s unwavering commitment, Rwandan football can look forward to a future that promises development, professionalism, and integrity.