If you were a football journalist in Rwanda, the last 48 hours must have been the most dreadful at office for reasons not most Rwandans will live to know until told.
What am I talking about? It’s really hard for an outsider (non football or sports journalist all together) to understand that intro by reading between the lines, that’s why I said, ‘until told’.
We (referring to football journalist in this country) have for a long time fought ‘wars’ with football authorities regarding their seemingly deliberate and constant attempts to deny us audience especially in ‘difficult’ times.
When the going is smooth, you sometimes even get a surprise call or message from the authorities because the waters are all stable but when it’s the opposite, part of our work becomes as dreadful as it has been in the last 48 hours.
At the time when the Amavubi Stars beat the ‘mighty’ Morocco as well as Ethiopia and Mauritania, work at the office was at its record most enjoyable but in the wake of APR and Rayon Sport despondency, our ‘partners’ have done what they do best.
It’s not the end of Rwandan football because APR and Rayon Sport failed (miserably) to reach at least the semi-finals of the ongoing regional club championship in Dar es Salaam, whose prize money ($60.000) comes from the personal fortune of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
People have gone nuts because the two leading football clubs in the country failed to rise to the occasion against the other leading clubs in the region.
In truth, there are very many fans who expected either APR and Rayon to return to Kigali with the 2008 Kagame Cup. How special that would be? Unfortunately, football can sometimes be such a cruel sport.
By nature or profession, journalism is about enjoying or rather exploiting such situations (good or bad or both) for the good of the general public.
The defending champions failing to rise to the occasion in their title defence surely makes big news wherever it may be, Rwanda, England, Brazil even in India, so when APR did exactly that, we were ready to exploit the situation (immediately) and try to get to the cause of such a wretched campaign.
Unfortunately, Times Sport’s numerous attempts in the last 48 hours to get a comment from any in the football authority of the two clubs and at the Football federation, Ferwafa have been unsuccessful.
Brig. Gen. Alex Kagame’s phone (the chairman of APR Fc) has been ‘Le numéro composé n’est pas disponible’ or in English, (the telephone number you’re calling isn’t available), so was Paul Muvunyi’s (Rayon president).
For Brig. Gen. John Bosco Kazura (Ferwafa boss) and Jules Kalisa (Ferwafa secretary general), their phones were going through the whole of yesterday but there was no response.
I don’t want to condemn neither APR nor Rayon for causing Rwandan football such a shame because I know it wasn’t their fault (it’s just the cruel game of football) and I’d never, for reasons that one day, we shall share.
But the authorities are hell bent on making our work hard just as they failed to acknowledge the fact that the two clubs had no chance in this year’s tournament against teams like Yanga, Simba, URA and Tusker right from the onset.
People should resist from looking at APR and Rayon’s latest failure as a shame but rather as a lesson for future plans aimed at developing football in the country beginning with the authorities forming a formidable (working) relationship with the media.