Former Sofapaka and Rwandese international goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana died on Tuesday, Federation of Rwanda Football Associations (FERWARA) has said.
The 26-year-old, who was playing for Rwandan top tier side Rayon Sports, is said to have been battling a heart condition for a while.
“Mutuyimana has been having heart complications for quite some time now. It’s unfortunate we’ve lost him. He was a very good custodian and Rwanda for sure has lost an asset,” FERWARA media chief Bonnie Mugabe told Nation Sport on Tuesday.
The shot-stopper signed for Rayon Sports in the Azam Rwanda Premier League in June 2016 after an 18-month stint with Sofapaka in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL).
Mutuyimana was one of the players who helped Sofapaka gain promotion to the SPL in the 2008/2009 season in his first stint with the Batoto ba Mungu.
Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza, who played alongside Mutiyimana at the club, described the shot-stopper as a “passionate player”.
“We received the sad news this morning and we are deeply affected. Mutuyimana was a passionate team player. His fighting spirit was incomparable,” said Baraza.
“He loved Sofapaka that he persevered with the conditions when the team was in the second tier.”
“He left after we had been promoted to the top flight but still came back to help us again survive relegation last year. We pray for his family, friends and relatives during this difficult time.”
He played 20 times for the Rwanda national football team, the Amavubi Stars.
The former Kiyovu Sports man made his debut for Amavubi in 2012 in a 4-0 loss to Algeria in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.