Rwanda coach Antoine Hey refuses to end Syria speculation

Antoine Hey of Rwanda Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Rwanda coach Antoine Hey has refused to end speculation linking him with a move to join the Syrian national team, and has told KweséESPN that he will consider the options available to him after the African Nations Championship.

Rwanda have been one of the surprise packages of the ongoing CHAN in Morocco, holding Nigeria 0-0 in their first game before beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Tanger on Friday.

They will advance to the quarter finals if they avoid defeat against Libya next week, although the game will come amidst sustained speculation that Hey is primed to leave Amavubi for Syria.

"I have received a request if I'm available and I've received a contract proposal, but I've told them that during this tournament now I cannot speak to anybody and think about anything," Hey told KweséESPN.

"My concentration is on my team and this tournament and what comes after, we will talk about when the tournament is over."

The German coach has experienced over a decade in African football, having managed the national teams of Lesotho, The Gambia, Liberia and Kenya. He's also overseen Tunisian side US Monastir and Sudanese giants Al-Merreikh.

During his playing career, the 47-year-old turned out for the likes of SC Fortuna Koln, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Schalke, while he also spent time in England with Birmingham City and Bristol City.

"I've been [with Rwanda] since March and we have massively improved," he added. "In March we didn't have a team, we started from scratch.

"Now I see, step by step, this team is growing, there are some improvements.

"Two players have been been man of the match [during the CHAN]; in the first match and now again," he concluded. "It's always good when you see proof of your work."

Rwanda, who are currently ranked 116th in the FIFA World Rankings, have been pitted against Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic in their African Cup of Nations qualifying group. They began their campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Les Fauves in Bangui.