Karekezi's job in balance as Rayon ponder Gomez return


Rayon head coach Olivier Karekezi says he is not concerned with talk of his possible dismissal. Sam Ngendahimana.


Rayon Sports 0-1 APR FC

Former Rayon Sports head coach Didier Gomez da Roza is reported to be in talks with Rayon Sports to replace Olivier Karekezi, who has come under pressure after losing twice in a row against arch-rivals APR FC, Times Sport understands.

Karekezi’s troubles worsened following the 1-0 defeat against a ten-man APR side at Amahoro National Stadium on Sunday, a result that saw APR move into third place on the Azam Rwanda Premier League standings.

Muhadjir Hakizimana’s strike in the 27th minute helped Jimmy Mulisa’s team close the gap on leaders SC Kiyovu to three points, while defending champions Rayon Sports remained in fourth, five points behind the leaders.

According to a reliable source at Rayon Sports, Frenchman Gomez, who left the club four year ago, is in talks to return for a second spell. He is currently in charge of JSM Skikda of Algeria.

Commenting on suggestions that his job could be on the line, Karekezi said he’s not concerned with talk of his possible dismissal.

He said he was calm because, in football, you can win, lose or draw and what is necessary for him is to prepare the next matches “because we want to stay in title race.”

“I am not worried for sure, what I am concentrating on right now is working hard and making sure that we bounce back from last week’s defeat and see how we can close the gap at the top of the table. It is still early, people must be patient,” he said.

Karekezi, in his first season as Rayon Sports head coach, has now lost twice in a row against his former club APR having also lost 2-1 in the final of this year’s Heroes Cup early this month.

The former APR and Amavubi captain noted that: “If management believes that sacking me would be in the interest of the team, I would not have any problem. However, in my view, we’re not having bad results as some people suggest.”

However, efforts by Times Sport to get a comment from Rayon Sports hierarchy proved futile as club president Paul Muvunyi and secretary-general Bernard Itangishaka could not pick our repeated calls.

Gomez parted ways with Rayon Sports in January 2014 over unpaid salary for three months which amounted to $9000 and joined Cameroonian side Coton Sport de Garoua.

The 49-year-old left just months after guiding Rayon Sports to the 2012/2013 league title, their first since 2004.

Since his departure, Gomes has never hid his love for Rayon Sports and its loyal fans. He once promised to return to “complete his unfinished business.”