Ill-treatment of Warriors in Rwanda laid bare

Marvelous Nakamba brought his own recovery equipment into the Warriors’ camp in Rwanda where the players were not given enough food needed to keep elite athletes in good condition.

An explosive report, which was prepared by coach Baltemar Brito, who took charge of the Warriors during their stay in Rwanda for two World Cup qualifiers in November, has lifted the lid on the amateurish approach by the ZIFA leaders.

That could have been the difference between the Warriors picking six points, against Rwanda and Nigeria, and the two points they brought home from two draws.

The absence of assistant coach Bongani Mafu, said Brito, was a blessing in disguise as it brought unity within the technical staff and bonded them into an effective working unit.

He accused Mafu of having a negative influence and, in his absence, “there (were) no divisions between coaches… the guy doesn’t add value.”

Brito didn’t want Mafu, or any other additional coach, to be brought into the Warriors technical staff for the future assignments.

One player, forward Admiral Muskwe, was invited into camp and left to travel from his base in England to Rwanda even though he was injured and not fit to play in the two World Cup qualifiers.

There was a strike in Rwanda, as Zimpapers Sport correctly reported, because of a stalemate between the players and the ZIFA leaders over payments which the Warriors felt was due to them.

Highlights of the report, which H-Metro has obtained, include:

• The shame of Nakamba, the captain of the team, being forced to bring his own recovery equipment from his base in England to help him in his recovery sessions.

• The absence of the equipment needed to help players in their recovery sessions after training sessions or after their intense battles during match days.

• The Warriors camp did not have some basic training equipment including tape, foam rollers and field flip boards forcing Brito to recommend that 10 mannequins be bought for the next camp.

• The absence of a gym at the hotel they stayed in Huye was something unacceptable to the players, and the coach, because of its negative impact on their performance.

• The chaotic nature of the way the Warriors travelled, especially connecting flights, had a huge negative impact on the way the team performed in the two matches.

• There was gross interference in the Warriors’ technical affairs by some of ZIFA officials who ended up discussing tactics with some of the players.

• The Warriors medical and media teams were not spared by Brito who felt they came short, in terms of their execution of duty during the same tour.

• The latter was described as behaving as if they were dealing with a domestic Premiership assignment instead of a World Cup qualifier.

“We (found a) gym in Kigali but in Huye no (gym), we know that (at) some places (it) would be hard but (it is imperative that) all places we camp have a gym,” reads the report

“There was not one room just (for the) medical department, (we had to) create (for) them (a) cabinet.

“The recovery strategies from Medical Department were few and not planned as we want.


“We sent the list of what we needed for training sessions but missed material.

“We are not requesting too much, so we should have the minimum. Missed — sticks to artificial grass, tape, foam rollers, field flip board to carry for training and, if possible, buy 10 mannequins.”

“He was unhappy that of one day members of the medical staff arrived late for breakfast when “this department needs to understand that they should be the first ones to arrive and check if is all good for the players.”

He also addressed the key issue of recovery sessions.

“Recovering is not only about massage and ice (that we never did).

“One of more experienced players, Nakamba, (carried) his machine to speed up the recovering process.

“We arrive(d) at both hotels without any plan of nutrition… Huye was a catastrophe.

“They need to make proper food for players and not only two main meals, from lunch to dinner is too long and the players, just after sessions, need to eat and hydrate but, for it, to happen, it is important the Medical Department be in contact before travel with hotel and not just on day we arrive.”

He accused a ZIFA official of “always giving opinions and (trying to) interfere in what is not his subject, worse, debating tactical things with players.

“This (is the) kind of behaviour we don’t want inside camping, the fan mentality can’t be inside us because it creates divisions.

“Very important (to have) the agreements with players before travel to avoid strikes as (happened in) this camping because time is short and we can’t miss training sessions.” H-Metro

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button