St. Etienne striker Kevin Monnet-Paquet has declared his willingness to represent Rwanda at international level if the opportunity presnts itself. Born to a Rwandan mother and French father, the 32 year old revealed this in a recent interview with local radio B&B Umwezi.
“It’s been a long time since the last time I was in Rwanda, but I often think about it. Many coaches have approached me about playing for Amavubi, I am now fit and ready to play for my country if I am called-up,” he said.
Monnet-Paquet has played for the France U-18, U-19 and the U-21 national teams. However, he has not visited Rwanda since 1993.
Amavubi head coach Vincent Mashami has confirmed he has held discussions with Monnet-Paquet about playing for the national team side in a recent interview and said, “He could receive his first call-up in the near future. He is optimistic about representing Rwanda.”
Since 2012, many Amavubi coaches and the leadership of the Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) have been trying to persuade Monnet-Paquet to pledge his international future to East African nation but he refused to commit hoping to attract a call up from the reigning world champions France. However, he remains uncapped at senior level having last played for the French U-21 team in 2009.
If all goes according to plan, Mashami confirmed that Monnet-Paquet will be named in the squad to face Cape Verde and subsequent matches in the ongoing qualifiers for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals tournament.
Amavubi are yet to earn a point having lost to Mozambique and Cameroon after the opening two matches in Group F. Their next encounter will be against Cape Verde in November. Mozambique and Cameroon jointly top the group with 4 points each, while Cape Verde are third with 2 points.
Rwanda has not taken part in the Africa Cup of Nations – Africa’s biggest football event – since the 2004 edition in Tunisia.
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