Domestic football needs you, put Man U aside for once

Today, Rwanda’s national football league champions, APR, will tussle it out with another regional giant, Burundi’s Vital’O in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
APR FC host Burundian champions Vita'O in the Champions League preliminary round first leg at Amahoro stadium. Saturday Sport / T. Kisambira.
APR FC host Burundian champions Vita'O in the Champions League preliminary round first leg at Amahoro stadium. Saturday Sport / T. Kisambira.

Today, Rwanda’s national football league champions, APR, will tussle it out with another regional giant, Burundi’s Vital’O in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.

The Black and White flags and colourful Vuvuzelas will be out in force as APR tries to rekindle the spirit that sent Rwanda to the first CAF finals in Tunisia in 2004 and later the under 17 in the FIFA World Cup two years ago in Mexico.

Both feats brought to a halt debates that Rwanda was not a football country and should instead stick to volleyball and basketball where it has a better track record. Both could be repeated if we had the right ingredients in the correct amounts; unreserved support.

If local football fans could give just half the attention they give the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League to our domestic league, I am sure this country would never leave the lips of sports commentators.

But our fans are a different breed when it comes to local football; they will only cheer when our team scores and then cuddle back into their cocoon of bored silence, never attempting to goad their team forward.

Few of them will even dig into their pockets to help their favourite club, but you will see them sporting the latest Manchester or Arsenal jerseys.

Local fans need an injection of faith to rekindle the spirit of patriotism and kick out the dullness in our stadiums. Unlike old dogs, it is never too late to learn new tricks.

 

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