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Rwanda women’s football coach suspended for saying Ghanaian rivals were ‘like men’

The head coach of Rwanda’s women’s football team was suspended on Saturday by the national federation for saying Ghanaian rivals were “like men” after her side’s defeat.

Grace Nyinawumuntu said her team had been intimidated by the Ghana team resulting in a 7-0 rout in an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Kigali on Wednesday.

“They have girls who we think have male hormones. They are girls who are like men,” she said. “Our team was scared… when they got to the pitch, they conceded because they were scared.”

Rwanda’s football federation (FERWAFA) sent a statement to AFP confirming the coach had been “suspended until further notice, due to (the) inappropriate choice of diction she used after the game between Rwanda and Ghana”.

FERWAFA said “the remarks made by the coach of the national women about the players of the Ghana national women’s team are in violation of the rules and values of football in Rwanda.

“We remind members of FERWAFA to desist from behaviour and remarks that are not aligned with the truth, have no factual basis and are not professional.”

A former player who became Rwanda’s first female professional football coach in 2014, Nyinawumuntu was suspended as the head coach of AS Kigali Women in 2017 following sexual harassment allegations against her by the team’s players.

She took AS Kigali Women to court for wrongful dismissal and won the case, with the club ordered to pay her $47,000 damages (44,000 euros).

She was appointed head coach of the national women’s football team in June this year.

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