President Paul Kagame, on Sunday, February 7, met with the national football team players and officials who represented the country at the African Nations Championship (CHAN), in which Rwanda reached the quarter-finals of the tournament.
The “Amavubi” put up a spirited show at the tournament, coming out second in Group C with 5 points before they fell to Guinea in a closely contested quarter-final match.
Speaking to the team, President Kagame, among other things tipped them on the significance of discipline and picking lessons from whatever they do.
“Every game you played, the ones you lost, won, or drew, each of them has a lesson,” he said.
“Discipline gives you the ability to learn. Discipline helps you to exercise restraint. When you show anger on the field, you have to ask yourself, who are you proving a point to? You are instead failing your team. Arguing or being angry does not give you any points,” he added.
He gave them an example of how far Rwanda as a nation has been able to go due to discipline and resilience, despite the difficult challenges faced on the way.
“With all the challenges we have gone through, if we were not people with discipline, with resilience to keep trying even when we fail, with respect for the rules, we would not have made progress. Discipline is needed in all aspects of life.”
The president commended the performance the team put up in Cameroon, despite the challenges that they may have faced while preparing for the tournament due to the unusual times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He further urged them to have a common understanding among themselves, working as one team under one coach.
“The coach has to do his job and the players should play their role. They can discuss the issues at hand and find solutions with each one of them playing their part but the players cannot replace their coach. Discipline enables such an environment to be put in place,” he said.
He pledged more support to the team in their endeavors, so that they can perform even better.
Meanwhile, he said he had already engaged with the Ministry of Sports to give the players a prize to appreciate their performance in the CHAN tournament.