By Beng Emmanuel
The former president of Burundi National Olympic Committee Evariste Ndayishimiye is set to replace Pierre Nkurunziza as president of Burundi. The National independent electoral commission has declared Ndayishimiye president-elect of the East African nation bringing an end to the 15-year era of Football-loving president Pierre Nkurunziza.
52-year-old Ndayishimiye replaces somewhat his team mate as he and the outgoing president were former Hutu rebel fighters. Sources say he recorded 68.72% of the votes, better than six opponents for the CNDD-FDD party.
For the Sports industry, it simply a like-for-like substitution.
The outgoing president enjoyed playing football and cycling. He began playing football in secondary school and later in the University. He was also Physical Education teacher and at some point in time employed his football talents as coach of Union Sporting [a first division club side in Burundi] .
Soccer history also have his his name as the man that re-called former players to form a new team of veterans, Helleluia FC.
Meanwhile in 2004, when he was a State Minister, Nkurunziza created a Soccer Academy where nearly 300 kids were groomed in various training centers across the country.
His successor, Evariste Ndayishimiye has also made immense contributions to the development of Sports especially during his reign as a part of the Olympic committee. In September 2014, the newly elected president led a delegation to meet with the President of the International Olympic committee IOC, Thomas Bach in Switzerland were they both discussed issue of sports development, as well as the role of sports in society. His actions were greatly beneficial to his country.
Evariste Ndayishimiye is a former minister of interior and security. The President-elect is a close ally to Pierre Nkurunziza. They are former students of the University of Burundi in 1995.
The change of power may not have negative effect on sports in Burundi because they have one sports lover replacing another.
The Burundi Primus League is the only top-flight Championship on the continent whose games have resumed and the political class has been very supportive of it.
Last week resumption between Musongati FC and Athletico Olympic was presided over by president Pierre Nkurunziza in what turned out to be his last outing in the capacity of the president of the East African nation.
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