Africa Republic coach Raoul Savoy says football is unifying the country as they
recover from religious conflict. The Swiss coach returned to head the Central
Africa Republic after an unsuccessful stint with the Scorpions of The Gambia.
Currently raked 118 by Fifa, CAR lead their AFCON 2019 Group H after a home win over Rwanda in Bangui. The other teams in Group H are Ivory Coast and Guinea whom they will face in September.
“They’re unifying the country. When the Wild Beasts are playing, the people think of something else,” said Savoy, who once coached Cameroon, Ethiopia and The Gambia national teams. When you’re the worlds press they’re always talking badly of the Central Africa Republic. If we have good results, positive news is coming from that.”
Religious conflict between the Muslim minority and Christian majority has claimed thousands of lives and forced the national team to play matches outside the country. “That’s why when we’re playing it is not only about football but something more important to it.”
But as the country is currently undergoing an international supervised transition, international matches are taking place in the capital Bangui once more.
The Wild Beasts will travel to Banjul on Friday 23 March to take on Savoy’s former side the Scorpions in a friendly as they see the host as a familiar opponent to Guinea.
The match will serve as a litmus-test for Central Africa in how they prepare for away matches which is a huge concern for Savoy. “We need better management of away matches that is why our last friendlies have been held away from home.”