APR to release all foreign players
In a move aimed at drastically change Rwandan football forever and propel it to greater heights, the country’s most successful and richest club APR is set to release all the foreign players in their ranks and use only locals effective next season.
The military side is currently taking part in this year’s Cecafa Kagame Club Championships in Dar es Salaam. It’s understood that club officials don’t want to go public on the move until after the tournament, for fear of jeopardizing their chances of winning a fourth regional title.
“APR realised that using many foreign players in the team was not helping the club’s philosophy of developing youth structures and giving young talented nationals the opportunity to shine at the big stage,” the source close to the club told Times Sport on Saturday.
The league and cup winners have 11 foreign players including three Brazilians in their first team. They include Lionel St. Preux, Dan Wagaluka, Johnson Bagoole, Habib Kavuma, Papy Faty, Seleman Ndikumana, Alex De Avila Peixoto, Oliviero Alves, Logbo Landry, Kabange Twite and Douglas Lopes Carneirn.
The 13-time national league champions also plan to use the move to reduce the massive wage bill. The majority of them earn over US$1000 or more a month plus bonuses, housing allowances and signing on fees.
This strategy is not entirely new as APR tried it a couple of years ago but it didn’t work.
Meanwhile, Police chairman Alphonse Katarebe told local media last week that local talents will constitute 90 per cent of their squad next season.
The country’s governing football body, Ferwafa is also set to pass a law requiring clubs to use 90% Rwandans in their respective squads next season.
With Government having tasked the Ministry of Sports to ensure that Rwanda is among the top 10 footballing nations on the continent in five years, this appears to be the first major step in realising that target.
Contact email: ostine.arinaitwe[at]newtimes.co.rw