Rwanda’s women’s national team head coach, Grace Nyinawumuntu, has faced suspension by the national federation following her comments about Ghanaian rivals after her team’s defeat.
Rwanda suffered a 7-0 loss against Ghana’s Black Queens at the Kigali Pele Stadium during the first leg of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier (WAFCON) on Wednesday. In a post-match statement, Nyinawumuntu expressed that her team had been overwhelmed by the physicality of the Ghanaian players.
She stated, “They have girls who we think have male hormones. They are girls who are like men. Our team was scared… when they got to the pitch, they conceded because they were scared.”
However, Rwanda’s football federation (Ferwafa) issued a statement confirming that the coach had been “suspended until further notice due to her inappropriate choice of language following the game between Rwanda and Ghana.”
Ferwafa explained, “The remarks made by the coach of the national women’s team about the players of the Ghana national women’s team violate the rules and values of football in Rwanda.”
The federation emphasized the importance of members refraining from behavior and comments that lack truth, factual basis, and professionalism.
Nyinawumuntu, a former player who became Rwanda’s first female professional football coach in 2014, was suspended as the head coach of AS Kigali Women in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment made by the team’s players. She subsequently won a legal case against the club, which was ordered to pay her $47,000 in damages (44,000 euros).
She was appointed as the head coach of the national women’s football team in June of the current year.
In the meantime, Ghana is set to host Rwanda in the second leg of the competition at the Accra Sports Stadium on September 26.