Coach Ntagwabira confesses to match-fixing
Friday, July 6, 2012 will go down as one of the darkest days in the history of Rwandan football.
On the day he officially announced he was leaving his post as Rayon Sport head coach after one year in charge, Jean Marie Ntagwabira exposed the “truth you probably didn’t know,” confessing that he once bribed Rayon player to get the needed result while coaching SC Kiyovu.
Ntagwabira held a press conference on Friday where he revealed the reasons behind his refusal to renew his one year contract with the Blues.
While lamenting some notable fans who worked against clubs interests resulting in team poor results, three names were forwarded. But one name came with surprise considering at what extent it was involved in working against the club progress.
“Do you know the Rayon Sport fan called Issa [Baritona] and the defeat that led the sacking of Kayiranga (Baptiste) [in 2009] as Rayon coach?… I was in Kiyovu[at that time… that defeat was down to Issa,” revealed Ntagwabira.
“When I came to Rayon I told the board that I couldn’t work with him [Issa], because I know very well that he is a traitor and I told this the management. I used him to bribe Rayon player with my money and he accepted it,” Ntagwabira continued as the journalists looked at each other in surprise at the revelations.
The revelation comes in a wake of the controversies that surrounded the club last season when a section of the local media debated reports of match fixing the Primus National Football League.
But Ntagwabira refused to get drawn into these discussions or accusing a particular club, insisting he used his own money to bribe the Rayon players through Issa.
“The day after our [ Kiyovu] win over Rayon Sport, I called Isaa and gave him his money. No other Kiyovu official was involved [in the match fixing]. I don’t think that can happen to Kiyovu either. But Issa… he is an exception”, stressed the former APR, Atraco and Kiyovu coach.
The Amavubi Stars assistant coach said the main reason behind Rayon’s persistent troubles on and off the field is a section of notable Blues’ fan that are in ferociously opposed to the club progress.
He mentioned a one Salvador, once a wealth Rayon fan, who was involved in day to day club affairs, but is now nowhere near the club management.
Ntagwabira admitted that a longtime feud with Hamadi Ndikumana Katauti was the cause for last week’s unprecedented move by the player to impeach their coach.
For years, there have always been reports of match fixing caims in Rwandan club football but none has been clearly and openly investigated to get the real truth and or bring the culprits to book.