A Rwandan women’s football coach sacked over allegations she had sexually assaulted her players has welcomed a court verdict to award her $47,000 (£32,000) for wrongful dismissal. Grace Nyinawumuntu, a former national coach, told the BBC she was now looking forward to moving on with her life.
She was fired by top league team AS Kigali women in March 2017 over the allegations.
The club has reportedly said that it will challenge the decision.
“We are absolutely not satisfied with the court order, we will appeal the decision. We are already consulting our legal advisors,” AS Kigali women’s team chairman Teddy Gacinya told Rwanda’s The New Times newspaper.
Ms Nyinawumuntu said she was vindicated by the ruling over the allegations, which she says were false.
“There are people who were not happy with me and they are the ones who brought the malicious allegations.”
She told the BBC that she had founded the AS Kigali women’s team in 2008 and had been serving as the club’s coach in the 10-team national league.
Ms Nyinawumuntu is the first Rwandan women’s international referee and its first women’s national football coach.
She said she was ostracised after the sexual assault allegations, making it difficult to get other jobs.
She also denied being homosexual. “I have a husband and two children. Those reports are not true.”
She said one of her three accusers was ordered to pay her $5,000. “She was on TV making false allegations but she has now been ordered to pay me.”
The $47,000 pay-off also includes her lost salary plus her legal fees, she said.
“I’m glad this matter has been resolved. I’m looking forward to move on with my life.”
“With this money I can now dream to do my own things. Maybe start a business. I would like to start another football club if I get a sponsor.”