Rwanda women's national football team

The Rwanda women's national football team represents Rwanda in women's association football and is controlled by the Rwandese Association Football Federation. It had to date been scheduled to compete in one major tournament, the inaugural Women's Challenge Cup held in Zanzibar in October 2007, but the event was ultimately canceled. It has finally debuted in February 2014 against Kenya. Like their male counterpart, the team is nicknamed The She-Amavubi (Kinyarwanda for The She-Wasps). It has never qualified for an African Championship finals or a World Cup.

(The She-Wasps)
AssociationRwandese Association Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationCECAFA (East & Central Africa)
Head coachGrace Nyinawumuntu
CaptainGloria Nibagwire
Top scorerAlice Niyoyita
Jeanne Nyirahatashima
Clementine Mukamana (1)
Home stadiumStade Régional Nyamirambo
First colours
FIFA ranking
Current 145 2 (27 September 2019)[1]
Highest108 (March 2017)
Lowest148 (September 2015)
First international
 Rwanda 1–0 Kenya 
(Kigali, Rwanda; 16 February 2014)
Biggest win
 Rwanda 1–0 Kenya 
(Kigali, Rwanda; 16 February 2014)
Biggest defeat
 Nigeria 8–0 Rwanda
(Kaduna, Nigeria; 7 June 2014)

Senior national team

Until 2012, Rwanda had yet to play in a single FIFA recognised match.[2] FIFA did not recognise a senior women's national team in the period between 2002 and 2006,[3] with no team existing by 2008.[4] While Rwanda women's national under-20 football team existed and played in matches by 2009,[5][6][7] the senior national team was not competing in matches in the period. There was no senior team competing in the 2010 African Women's Championships during the preliminary rounds[8] or the 2011 All Africa Games.[9] In March 2012, the team was not ranked in the world by FIFA[10] and a senior national team still did not existed.[11] However, a senior national team played its first official match on February 16, 2014.

The inaugural Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Women's Challenge Cup was supposed to be held in Zanzibar October 2007,[12] an event Rwanda was planning to send a national team to compete in,[13] but the competition was ultimately canceled.[14] The competition was to be funded by Confederation of African Football. The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations secretary, Nicholas Musonye said of the event, "CAF wants to develop women football in this region in recognition of the milestones CECAFA has achieved over the years. CAF appreciates what CECAFA has done despite the hardships the association has gone through, from financial problems to political instability in member states and poor management of associations. Member states in the CECAFA region have not taken women's football seriously. CAF now wants to sponsor a long-term campaign to attract women from this region into the game." [14][15]


She-Amavubi debuted on 16 January 2014, in the 2014 African Women's Championship first qualification round, against Kenya in the Stade Régional Nyamirambo in Kigali. They won 1–0 from a goal scored by Alice Niyoyita at the 29th minute in the first leg. In the second leg in Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, Kenya they lost 2–1 with the solitary goal scored by Jeanne Nyirahatashima. Rwanda qualified for the second round by the away goals rule after finishing 2–2 on aggregate and played against Nigeria. Their third official match was disputed on 13 May 2014 against Zambia and ended in a 3–0 loss, making it the third loss of their record. They disputed the 2014 African Women's Championship second qualification round with Nigeria on 24 May 2014, losing 4–1. The goal was scored by Clementine Mukamana at the 53rd minute. In the second leg, again competing against Nigeria on 7 June 2014, the She-Amavubi lost by a crushing 8–0 defeat, leaving them out of the 2014 African Women's Championship by a 12–1 aggregate score.

Competition records

World Cup record

FIFA Women's World Cup
Year Result Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1991 to
Did Not Enter
2015 Did Not Qualify

Africa Women's Championship record

African Women's Championship
Year Result Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
19912012 Did not enter
2014 Did not qualify
2016 Did not enter


  • Grace Nyinawumuntu (2014–)[16]

Recent matches

Current squad

The following squad was selected for the 2014 African Women's Championship qualification match against Nigeria on 8 June 2014.

Caps and goals updated as of 16 November 2014.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Judith Ingabire (1994-06-03) 3 June 1994 5 0 AS Kigali
18 1GK Helena Uwizeyimana (1985-05-01) 1 May 1985 0 0 AS Kigali

10 3MF Jeanne Nyirahatashima (1995-10-01) 1 October 1995 5 1 AS Kigali
2 3MF Djamila Abimana (1994-12-01) 1 December 1994 4 0 Kamonyi
5 3MF Clementine Mukamana (1995-07-19) 19 July 1995 5 1 AS Kigali
8 3MF Chadia Uwamahirwe (1995-02-12) 12 February 1995 5 0 AS Kigali
11 3MF Alice Niyoyita (1995-07-30) 30 July 1995 5 1 AS Kigali
14 3MF Maria Ibangaryeanne (1993-07-03) 3 July 1993 5 0 AS Kigali
17 3MF Gloria Nibagwire (c) (1982-08-14) 14 August 1982 5 0 AS Kigali
12 3MF Sophie Niyomugaba (1996-04-01) 1 April 1996 5 0 AS Kigali
6 3MF Louise Maniraguha (1993-08-05) 5 August 1993 5 0
16 3MF Alice Kalimba (1995-11-01) 1 November 1995 5 0 AS Kigali
15 3MF Saida Ntagisanimana (1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 0 0 AS Kigali
7 3MF Agathe Iririkumutimana (1997-01-01) 1 January 1997 0 0 AS Kigali
3 3MF Claudine Murorunkwere (1994-07-19) 19 July 1994 0 0 Rambura
4 3MF Edith Umulisa (1993-11-04) 4 November 1993 1 0 AS Kigali
13 3MF Marie Claire Uwamahoro (1986-08-21) 21 August 1986 0 0 AS Kigali
9 3MF Janviere Mukadusenge (1987-01-01) 1 January 1987 0 0 AS Kigali

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for Rwanda squad within the past 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
MF Nadia Uwineza (1995-10-01) 1 October 1995 0 0 AS Kigali v.  Kenya, 2 March 2014
MF Jeanette Mukeshimana (1991-01-01) 1 January 1991 0 0 Inyemera v.  Kenya, 2 March 2014
MF Oscarie Iragena (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 0 0 v.  Kenya, 16 February 2014
MF Yvonne Mukamaliza (1995-10-11) 11 October 1995 0 0 Inyemera v.  Kenya, 2 March 2014
MF Albertine Mukashema (1990-05-30) 30 May 1990 0 0 Inyemera v.  Kenya, 2 March 2014
MF Florence Imanizabayo (1997-06-07) 7 June 1997 0 0 Kamonyi v.  Nigeria, 24 May 2014

Head-to-Head Record

As of 16 June 2014

Opponent Games Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential
 Kenya 2 1 0 1 2 2 0
 Nigeria 2 0 0 2 1 12 -11
 Zambia 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
3 Countries5104317−14

Junior national team

In 2006, a Rwanda women's national under-17 football team and Rwanda women's national under-20 football team did not officially exist,[3] but this changed by 2009 when an under-20 team and competed in the African Women U-20 World Cup 2010 Qualifying tournament. In the first leg on 24 October 2009 in Nakivubo, they lost to Uganda 1–2. In the second leg on 7 November 2009 in Kigali, they lost to Uganda 0–1.[5][6][7] In Rwanda's 1–2 loss, Saida Ntagisarinana came on in the second half as a substitute for Rwanda and scored the team's only goal. Rwanda's play in the game was described by Ugandan newspaper New Vision as "far more organised [than Uganda], structured and played as a team."[17]

Background and history

The development of women's football in Africa faces several challenges, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women in the wider society, and fundamental inequality present in that society that occasionally allows for female-specific human rights abuses.[18] At the same time, if talented women footballers do emerge, many choose to go abroad to maximize playing opportunities.[19] A lack of funding impedes regional development of women's football as most of the funding for the women's national team comes from FIFA, not the national football association.[19]

Inside Rwanda, the first women's football programme was developed in 2000. "Kicking for Reconciliation" was created during the late 2000s, and involved over 100 young players in an attempt at "bringing healing to a nation that saw the worst genocide since World War II" through sport. The programme was open to both Tutsis and Hutus.[20] By 2008, this included a schools and university competition.[4] Women's football was supported by a single dedicated national federation staffer by 2006.[3] Women's sport, including football, received little press coverage in the Rwandan media.[13] A women's football league was founded in 2008, and the country is the only one in the region with a viable league, but the it still faces challenges related to funding for teams, with most of its funding coming from FIFA.[21] Grace Nyinawumuntu became the first female referee at the senior level in Rwanda in 2004, and went on to become the first woman to coach a professional team in the country in 2009. Her professional women's side went on to win the league championship under her leadership.[22] The lack of high-level football opportunities in Uganda led to some players going from there to Rwanda for opportunities to play in the country's professional league.[6]

International training related to women is limited in Rwanda. Between 1991 and 2010, there was no FIFA FUTURO III regional course for women's coaching, no women's football seminar held in the country, and no FIFA MA course held for women and youth football.[4] Internationally, in 2007, a representative from the country attended a FIFA sponsored women's football symposium in China.[23] Felicite Rwemarika is the head of women's football in the country.[21] She is credited with developing the sport in the country by founding the Association of Kigali Women in Football amongst other things.[24]

See also


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  2. "Rwanda: Fixtures and Results". FIFA. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  3. FIFA (2006). "Women's Football Today" (PDF). Switzerland: FIFA: 163. Retrieved 17 April 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. "Goal! Football: Rwanda" (PDF). FIFA. 25 November 2008. p. 4. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  5. "African Women U-20 World Cup 2010 Qualifying". Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  6. Vianney, John (19 January 2012). "Uganda: A Case for Women's Football". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  7. Kigongo, Ismail D. (13 January 2012). "After DR Congo, Women Need More". The Monitor. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  8. "Fixtures – African Women Championship 2010 - CAF". Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  9. "Groups & standings – All Africa Games women 2011 - CAF". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  10. "The FIFA Women's World Ranking". Switzerland: FIFA. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  11. "Tanzania yapaa viwango FIFA" (in Swahili). New Habari. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. Nchi nyingine za CECAFA ambazo ni Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia na Sudan hazina soka la wanawake la ushindani kiasi ya kuwa na timu ya taifa.
  12. Bugingo, Douglas (29 August 2007). "The Monitor (Uganda) - AAGM: Investment in Youth Soccer Reaping Rewards – Mulindwa". The Monitor. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  13. Huggins, Allison; Randell, Shirley (2007). "The Contribution of Sports to Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment1" (PDF). International Conference on Gender Equity on Sports for Social Change, Kigali, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  14. Olita, Reuben (27 September 2007). "Cecafa Puts Off Women Tourney". New Vision. Uganda.
  15. "The Nation (Kenya) - AAGM: CAF to Fund Regional Women's Championships". Daily Nation. Nairobi, Kenya. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. Muwanga, Sabiiti (25 October 2009). "New Vision (Uganda) - AAGM: U-20 Women Have Quite a Task in Rwanda Leg". New Vision. Kampala, Uganda. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  18. Jean Williams (15 December 2007). A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-84520-674-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  19. Gabriel Kuhn (24 February 2011). Soccer Vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics. PM Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-60486-053-5. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  20. Sharma, Kalpana (11 July 2010). "The Hindu (English): Just let them play". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  21. "Lack of funds holding back women's football league". Rwanda: The Chronicles. 28 February 2012. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  22. "Rwanda's First Female Professional Football Coach Defies Gender Stereotypes, Inspires Players". Global Press Institute. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  23. "Rwanda: FA to Attend FIFA Women's Football Symposium". 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  24. "Gender mainstreaming versus gender specific strategies" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2012.
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