Burundi name provisional squad to face Kenya, Seychelles in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers


Burundi name provisional squad to face Kenya, Seychelles in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Festus Chuma 19:58 - 16.05.2024

Burundi's head coach Etienne Ndayiragije named a strong 27-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Seychelles, blending local and European talent.

Burundi head coach Etienne Ndayiragije has announced a formidable 27-man squad for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Seychelles. 

The squad, revealed on Thursday afternoon includes several key players plying their trade in European leagues underscoring Ndayiragije's intent to blend local talent with international experience.

The matches, pivotal in Burundi's quest for their first World Cup appearance, will see them face Kenya in Lilongwe, Malawi, on June 7, 2024. 

Among the notable selections are Mohammed Amissi, currently playing for SC Feyenoord in the Netherlands, and Bienvenu Kanakimana, who plays for FK Jablonec in the Czech Republic. 

The squad also sees the return of several veterans, including midfield dynamo Gael Bigirimana whose experience in the UK leagues has been invaluable. 

Joining him in the midfield are Abedi Bigirimana and Akbar Muderi, tasked with controlling the pace and flow of the games.

On the defensive front, Burundi will rely on the likes of Vaillance A. Nihorimbere and Frederick Nsabiyumva to fortify their backline.

Despite the big names in the squad, there were some surprising omissions. Shassir Nahimana, a standout performer at Bandari FC in the FKF Premier League, did not make the list, nor did former national team captain Saido Berahino. 

Berahino's exclusion particularly notable given his previous contributions and leadership might signify a strategic shift under Ndayiragije's tenure.

Offensively, Burundi appears well-prepared as Shaban Hussein, Richard Kilongozi, and Elvis Kamsoba are expected to lead the attack.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Matteo Nkurunziza , Jonathan Nahimana, Aladin Bizimana 

 Defenders :Vaillance A. Nihorimbere, Claus Niyukuri, Keita Bukuru, Frederick Nsabiyumva, Ismail Nshimirimana, Lucien Delaigle   

Midfidlers: Youssuf Ndayishimiye, Henry Msanga, Elie E. Mokono, Jamir Naudts, Saidi Ntibazonkiza, Donasiyano Irakoze, Akbar Muderi, Gael Bigirimana, Abedi Bigirimana 

 Forwards: Shaban Hussein, Richard Kilongozi, Elvis Kamsoba, Mohammed Amissi (SC Feyenoord), Sudi Abdalla, Bienvenu Kanakimana (FK Jablonec), Jordy Liongola

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