Grace Nyinawumuntu, the head coach of Rwanda’s women’s football team, has been suspended by the Rwandan football organisation (FERWAFA) as a result of her inflammatory remarks regarding Ghana’s national women’s team.
In an AFCON qualifying match last Wednesday in Kigali, Nyinawumuntu blamed her team’s 7-0 loss on intimidation, saying the Ghanaian players “seemed like men.”
“We believe the girls they have have male hormones. She referred to them as girls who looked like guys. When they arrived on the pitch, our squad succumbed because they were afraid, she stated.
Nyinawumuntu was suspended “until further notice,” according to a statement on Twitter from FERWAFA, which cited her “inappropriate choice of diction” during the match. Her comments, the federation emphasised, were against both football regulations and Rwandan ideals.
Nyinawumuntu has been in the news for controversy before. She was demoted from her position as the head coach of AS Kigali Women in 2017 after players accused her of sexual harassment.
She later prevailed in a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination against the club and was awarded $47,000 in damages.
In June of this year, Nyinawumuntu, a former player who is now a coach, assumed leadership of the national women’s football team.
At Kigali Pele Stadium, Ghana’s Black Queens defeated Rwanda by a score of 7-0 in the first leg of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) qualifier. With goals from players like Doris Boaduwaa, Evelyn Badu, Priscilla Adubea, and others, the Black Queens controlled the match.
On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, the Accra Sports Stadium will host the rematch.