Coach Oliver Niyungeko believes Burundi has a chance of success like every other team at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Niyungeko’s side will make its debut at the AFCON finals in Egypt, after the country finished second from Group C of the qualifiers, ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon.
Burundi had been drawn into Group B with seasoned campaigners; Nigeria, Guinea and fellow debutants, Madagascar.
On June 22, they start their campaign with a clash against the Super Eagles in Ismailia and the gaffer was buoyant about his side’s prospects at the competition.
“As much as we can celebrate, we can’t do it forever. The qualification is now behind our backs and the work has officially begun for us. We have to work hard to prepare and work hard to do well in the tournament,” Niyungeko told the CAF website. “My target is to ensure we do our best. We are not here to show weakness or participate. We are here to compete and show that our qualification was no fluke. There are 24 teams and each has an equal chance and we are also part of that with an equal chance.
“It is a very tough group because, apart from Madagascar; Nigeria and Guinea are teams who have experience playing in this competition. We will do our best, take a match at a time and represent Burundi in the best way we can. “We have many players turning out in other African countries and in Asia, but the two had a very big influence in the team. When they came in, they gave a lot of motivation to the other players, showing them that anything is possible and football can indeed change someone’s life,” Niyungeko continued.