Whereas each institution is eager to do better than it did the previous year, the local football federation management skills have been further put in the spotlight.
The latest is the sacking of four members of Isonga Fc’s technical staff who included; Head coach Vincent Mashami, goalkeeping coach, Calliope Kabalisa, team manager Emery Kamanzi and team doctor Patrick Rutamu.
At the look of things, Ferwafa has distanced itself from the development but don’t be fooled; this is how the federation operates nowadays.
Isonga FC was established in a rush in 2011 as a composition of U-17 national team that was later promoted to the U-20 national team.
At the start, the club was managed by Augustine Munyandamutsa under Mediacom Limited for a whole season. They finished sixth in the 2011/12 league.
Ferwafa which oversees its management and the Ministry of Sports and Culture, as the main funder, decided to replace Munyandamusta with a new committee which is led by Gregoire Muramira.
Vincent Mashami was also appointed head coach, replacing Eric Nshimiyimana who had crossed to APR Fc.
Innocent Seninga was named assistant coach, with Calliope Kabalisa remaining the goalkeeping coach, Emery Kamanzi (team manager), Patrick Rutamu (team doctor) and Eric Tuyisenge the kit manager.
However, a row had ensured with Ferwafa president Celestin Ntagungira and secretary general Michel Gasingwa on one side, and Munyandamutsa on the other side, for the control of the junior side.
Munyandamutsa is the founder and owner of SEC academy.
The coaches fell out with both the federation and the executive committee owing to several grievances that had been raised on behalf of the players.
The issues raised included poor feeding, unpaid bonuses and lack of training and playing kit.
According to sources, some committee members used demeaning language while addressing the players.
The committee ignored the pleas and instead labelled the coaches as ‘rebels’. The poor performance of Isonga team this season is attributed to uncoordinated management as well as ignoring to address the team’s grievances.
Isonga through its sponsors, the Ministry of Sports and Culture and Inyange Industries, is meant to pay school fees for the players, provide kit, food and other necessities since they are not paid monthly salary.
At the start of the season, they promised each player Rwf0.5m as well as Rwf100, 000 per month as bonuses but this promise is yet to be fulfilled.
In early 2011, it is alleged that the federation officials wanted the U-17 and U-20 teams’ contracts of Mashami, Kabalisa and Rutamu dissolved without a clear reason. However, owing to the fact that they are employees of the ministry, they were saved.
The technical staff was sacked on the advice of Ferwafa; the advice rendered the anticipated evaluation by Technical Director Richard Tardy useless. Tardy had been instructed by the ministry to evaluate the team’s coaching staff.
The ministry, as the team’s custodian, went ahead to sack the technical staff without putting into consideration Tardy’s findings. Whether Tardy will still hand in his evaluation report or was stopped from filing one remains the million-dollar question.
The rest of the members on Ferwafa and Isonga Fc executive committee were ignorant when news of the sacking filtered through the media yet they must have a say in the affairs of the club.
According to sources, the decision to sack the four was taken by Ntagungira and Gasingwa, and if it’s true then Rwandan is in trouble if such underhand methods continue.
People should do what they can to collectively to develop the sport in Rwanda and stop politicking. If our football administrators continue to destroy what has been built because of self interests then we are doomed.
I hope the new coach Yves Rwasamanzi and his team can revamp Isonga FC in the second round of the Primus National Football League so as to escape relegation and continue playing its role in nurturing new young talents.
Ntagungira and his team werebrought in to steer a sinking ship and let them stick to that.