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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 18:27 GMT
Rwanda appoint interim coach
By Piers Edwards

If they have chosen a coach over my head, then they have sacked me
Roger Palmgren

The Rwandan Football Federation (Ferwafa) has insisted that Swedish coach Roger Palmgren will not lead the Wasps at this month's Cecafa Challenge Cup in Kigali.

Instead, local coach Gilbert Kanyankore will lead the national team at East and Central Africa's annual regional championship, which takes place between 19 November and 3 December.

Earlier this week, Ferwafa announced it had sacked Palmgren yet the Swede, whose contract runs until the end of July next year, disputed the claim.

It now appears that delays on the part of Ferwafa have contributed to the confusion since the federation has yet to inform the 40-year-old of its decision.

"Roger Palmgren is sacked as national coach," Jules Kalisa, a Ferwafa official, told BBC Sport on Wednesday.

"The federation want to write to him to tell him he is not national coach but we have not done it yet.

"We will do that this week. Thursday is a holiday so we'll do it on Friday."

Kalisa added that Kanyankore, who led the Wasps to Cecafa Cup glory in 1999, will only take charge for the length of the two-week tournament, following which the national team post will be advertised.

Palmgren, who has been offered a new role as technical director, had initially denied reports of his dismissal as coach but he was realistic about his fate upon learning of the new appointment.

"If they have chosen a coach over my head, then they have sacked me," he told BBC Sport.

He says his confusion stems from not only Ferwafa's silence but also a meeting held with Ferwafa president Celestin Musabyimana and Minister of Sport Joseph Habineza shortly after the end of Rwanda's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Palmgren says that Habineza explained he intended to dismiss both the coach and many within the federation for the Wasps' bottom-placed finish in Group Four.

Ferwafa's headquarters in Kigali
Ferwafa is yet to inform Palmgren of his dismissal as national coach

"The day after the meeting, Habineza apologised for that in an interview with a local newspaper," said Palmgren, who took this as a sign he could stay on.

However, Habineza, whose ministry provides the salary which Palmgren is paid, says he made his point clearly.

"I explained to Palmgren that he is no longer coach of the national team. In the meeting, I said to him: 'Let's separate amicably'," the minister told BBC Sport.

"He told me that if I ended the contract, we had to pay him until July but I said I couldn't pay him more than US$100,000 for doing nothing."

"I asked him what he expected, he said he was happy to be paid until March so I said we can use him for something else."

Ultimately, it was put to Palmgren that he could take on a technical director role, where he would train up Rwanda's coaches and continue with the youth development schemes he had installed during his reign.

Habineza revealed that during last month's meeting, he threatened to stop the funding to Ferwafa if the national team's results did not improve.

Confusion over Rwanda coach
02 Nov 05 |  African
Angola clinch World Cup berth
08 Oct 05 |  African
Rwanda coach denies approaches
07 Oct 05 |  African


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