Grace Nyinawumuntu (C) briefs AS Kigali Academy players in half-time during last year's ARS game. (File)

Grace Nyinawumuntu (C) briefs AS Kigali Academy players in half-time during last year?s ARS game. (File)

The development was confirmed to Times Sport on Thursday by coach Grace Nyinawumuntu, who also doubles as the head coach of the senior AS Kigali women?s team as well as the national women?s team?She-Amavubi.

AS Kigali were crowned champions of the 2014 season after beating Mutara Academy of Muhanga 2-0 in the final at Umuganda stadium, Rubavu.

Fourteen-year-old Uwitonze Nyirarukundo scored both goals in the 68th and 86th minute respectively.

?We would have liked to defend our title but it will not be possible because most of our junior players featured for the senior team in the league last season, thus making them ineligible to play in the Airtel Rising Stars championships,? Nyinawumuntu explained.

On the way to claiming the title, AS Kigali had seen off Rubavu in semi-finals while Mutara Academy had eliminated Kayonza in the round of four.

The third edition of the annual Airtel Rising Stars Youth (U-17) Football Championships started last month with zone level preliminaries and continues this weekend with preliminaries for the City of Kigali before the semi-final and finals next weekend at Ubworoherane stadium in Musanze District.

Richard Bishumba & Geoffrey Asiimwe, The New Times

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