In a bid to further develop women football in the country, Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) plan to introduce the women second division league effective next season, whose start dates are yet to be determined.
According to the head of women football in FERWAFA, Felicite Rwemalika, the decision to create a second tier league, was taken after a total of seven new clubs had applied to join the women football league hence necessitating the idea of starting the second division.
“The second division will encourage competition among clubs which is a huge factor towards sustainable development and we were glad that new teams have come out to engage in women football,” said Rwemalika.
The seven new teams that applied to join the first division league include; AS Kabuye from Gasabo District, Ntashyo from Kirehe, Imanzi and Rwamagana (Rwamagana District), Ndabuc from Ngoma, Gatsibo FC from Gatsibo district and Scandinavia from Rubavu.
The first division will comprise eight clubs as well as the second division. Initially, the first division had nine teams. The format to determine who joins the second division women football league is as follows;
The bottom three finishers from last season, and the seven new clubs will play a 10-team qualification tournament and the two finalists will join top six (from last season) to play in the 2017 first division while the remaining eight will feature in the second division league.
The bottom three finishers in the 2015/16 season were; Inyemera, Golden Generation and Nyagatare FC. AS Kigali have won the women’s football league a record eight seasons in a row.
At the end of the season, the bottom two teams will be relegated from the first division and replaced by the two promoted from the second division. It’s however, projected that in 2020, the second division will start to be played in a zonal league format.