Africa-Rwanda: 2021 African Women’s Senior Nations Championship Abruptly Ends Following Cheating by Rwanda Volleyball Federation

Rwanda vs Nigeria on Sep 13, 2021

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2021 African Women’s Senior Nations Championship was hosted  by the Rwanda Volleyball Federation and the Rwanda Ministry of Sports, in KIgali. The games were going well and the Rwandan Women Volleyball team beat Nigeria's team, 3-0, on Day 2, September 13, 2021. Then, things started going south: the Rwandan team was disqualified for breaking rules and the Rwandan government expelled all the teams from Rwanda.

The Nigeria Volleyball Association found out that the Rwanda Volleyball Federation had broken the rules of the International Federation of
Basketball by including four non eligible players, who neither did have a Rwandan citizenship, nor were issued the Rwandan national license, nor were registered by the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB - International Federation of Volleyball).

Later on, Nigeria’s head coach, Samuel Ajayi and the Secretary general of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Ms Ngozi Amayo, filed a protest with the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB), pointing to the fact that the Rwandan team to include four Brazilian citizens. In the letter, the Nigeria Volleyball Federation asked that the match between Rwandan and Nigeria be cancelled and that Nigeria gets the credit.



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After confirming the breaking of the rules and following the protest from Nigeria, the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB - International Federation of Volleyball) proposed that  Rwanda Volleyball Federation and the Rwanda Ministry of Sports continue hosting the tournament, but withdraw the Rwandan team from the competition.
Instead of complying with the recommendation, the Rwanda Volleyball Federation and Rwanda Ministry of Sports, under heavy police presence, denied the African Volleyball Confederation CAVB access to Kigali Arena for the continuation of the championship on Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, 2021.

The Rwandan Ministry of Sports then ordered all the participating women basketball teams, officials, and foreign guests to leave the country within 24 hours. According to AfroAmerica Network sources in Kigali, officials of Nigeria team, including the head coach Samuel Ajayi received threatening phone calls and were paid a visit by the Rwandan Investigation Bureau (RIB) agents in Kigali, for filing the protest against the Rwandan Volleyball Federation in a letter dated september 15, 2021.



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Following the disqualification of the teams from Rwanda, the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) decided that two highly ranking teams will represent Africa at the 2022 Women Basketball World Championship. Just before the expulsion the teams from Cameroon and Kenya were top ranked. 

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