Home » Rwanda Women’s Football Coach Faces Backlash for Sexist Remarks

Rwanda Women’s Football Coach Faces Backlash for Sexist Remarks

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) has suspended Grace Nyinawumuntu, the head coach of the women’s national team, for making sexist comments about the Ghanaian players after a humiliating 7-0 defeat in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday.

Nyinawumuntu, who is Rwanda’s first female professional football coach, said that the Ghanaian team had “girls who we think have male hormones” and that they were “like men”. She also said that her team was “scared” of the Ghanaian players and that they “conceded because they were scared”.

FERWAFA issued a statement on Saturday, saying that Nyinawumuntu had been “suspended until further notice, due to (the) inappropriate choice of diction she used after the game between Rwanda and Ghana”. The statement added that her remarks were “in violation of the rules and values of football in Rwanda” and that they reminded their members to “desist from behavior and remarks that are not aligned with the truth, have no factual basis, and are not professional”.

Nyinawumuntu’s comments sparked outrage and criticism from various quarters, including the Ghana Football Association, the Confederation of African Football, and the International Federation of Association Football. They condemned her remarks as “offensive”, “unacceptable”, and “discriminatory” and called for an apology and disciplinary action.

Nyinawumuntu has not yet issued a public apology or comment on her suspension. She has a history of controversy, as she was suspended as the head coach of AS Kigali Women in 2017 following sexual harassment allegations by the team’s players. She took the club to court for wrongful dismissal and won the case, with the club ordered to pay her $47,000 in damages.

Nyinawumuntu’s suspension comes at a time when women’s football is gaining more recognition and support in Africa and around the world. The Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, which is scheduled to take place in Morocco in 2023, will feature 12 teams for the first time, up from eight in previous editions. The tournament will also serve as a qualifier for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where Africa will have four slots, up from three in 2019.

The Rwanda women’s team, which is ranked 143rd in the world, still has a chance to qualify for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, as they will face Ghana again in the second leg of the qualifier in Accra on October 5. However, they will need to overcome a huge goal difference and a formidable opponent, as Ghana is ranked 60th in the world and has qualified for five Women’s World Cups.

Source: MyJoyOnline.com

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