Isonga could remain in 2nd tier despite promotion to top flight league

Newly promoted Azam Rwanda Primier League side Isonga FC could stay in the second division next season as the club are yet to confirm if they will be ready to compete in the Azam Rwanda Premier League next season.

Isonga FC and Miroplast FC were promoted to the top flight league replacing Pepiniere FC and SC Kiyovu that were relegated last season.

Initially, it was Isonga FC and Rwamagana City FC that were promoted; however, the latter were disqualified by FERWAFA for allegedly fielding an ineligible player during semi-final playoffs.

As a result, their semi-final opponents, Miroplast FC, were handed an automatic promotion to the top flight division. Miroplast went on to win the second division title after defeating Isonga FC 2-0 in the final.

A few weeks after their promotion, reports started to emerge that Isonga FC may not actually make it back to the top flight and this now looks highly likely, according to club president, Gregoire Muramira.

“Isonga’s objective is to train and nurture Rwanda’s future football talents and once they are ready, they are released to join top clubs, therefore, playing top flight football is never our objective, yes we got promoted but I can confirm that we shall be in second division next season,” said Muramira.

The youthful side was founded in 2011 mainly comprising of players from the Rwanda U-17 team that featured in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Mexico. The team is funded by the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC) and Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA).

Muramira noted that, “We are currently in talks with both MINISPOC and FERWAFA to decide on what could be the best option for the team, but competing in the first division doesn’t give an ideal platform for these young players to develop.”

If Isonga FC stay in the second division, their place in the Azam Rwanda Premier League is likely to be taken by AS Muhanga, whom they beat in the semi-final playoffs.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw