APR are Champs

APR FC lifted the 2013/14 Turbo King Football league title yesterday as they became the first Rwandan club to win 14 league titles. 
L-R Herve Rugwiro, Charles Tibingana and Nova Bayama and their teammates  celebrate the club’s 14th league title at the Kigali Regional Stadium yesterday. T. Kisambira
L-R Herve Rugwiro, Charles Tibingana and Nova Bayama and their teammates celebrate the club’s 14th league title at the Kigali Regional Stadium yesterday. T. Kisambira

Yesterday

APR 3-0 AS Muhanga (*Forfeit)

Rayon Sports 2-1 Musanze

Etincelles 1-2 Amagaju

Police 6-0 Marines

Gicumbi 0-0 Esperance 

APR FC lifted the 2013/14 Turbo King Football league title yesterday as they became the first Rwandan club to win 14 league titles. 

The military side were crowned champions without kicking a ball after their final day opponents AS Muhanga failed to turn up for the game following players’ strike over unpaid salary arrears for four months. 

To APR, this was a historical title following their decision in 2012 to offload foreign players and field only Rwandan players as a way of giving a chance to homegrown talent.

They went on to recruit the crème de la crème of local talent, but failed to retain their title, which saw archrivals Rayon Sports win their first league title in nine years.

Even as AS Muhanga coach Ali Bizimungu had been on record saying that his players may not show up for the final game on Saturday, APR FC turned up as expected, while their fans flocked the Kigali Regional Stadium in a celebratory mood, clearing anticipating to wrap yet another successful campaign.

It later emerged that by 3p.m, AS Muhanga had not left their home base in Muhanga District. Forty-five minutes later, referee Louis Hakizimana decided the game result in APR’s favour before submitting his day’s report to the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) officials.

After all the day’s matches had ended, Ferwafa chairman Vicent Degaule Nzamwita, through the MC, announced that APR FC were the 2013/14 Turbo King Football League champions. 

The announcement sent the APR FC faithful, players and administrators into wild celebrations, with the players running round the pitch saluting their supporters.

When contacted, Muhanga District executive secretary Celse Gasana, declined to comment, and hang up on us.

However, coach Bizimungu said, “players vehemently refused to travel to Kigali demanding settlement of their unpaid arrears of four months and recruitment funds, all amounting to Rwf25 million.” 

“Gasana called me at around 2p.m asking me to convince them  to play and assuring them that payment would be effected by end of the day but all our pleas fell on deaf ears,” added Bizimungu. 

Sports and Culture minister Protais Mitali handed the trophy to APR captain Ismael Nshutiyamagara, sparking jubilations. The country’s most successful football club, who wrapped up the league campaign with 64 points, also received Rwf10 million.

This means that APR will return to the continental elite football next year, besides representing Rwanda at the next edition of the Cecafa Kagame club Championship. 

Rayon Sports finished first runners-up after beating Musanze 2-1 and were rewarded a Rwf5 million cheque for their efforts. They completed the campaign with 62 points, two adrift of the new champions. 

APR scored 46 goals, conceded 13 goals and boasted the best defence, while rivals Rayon Sports found the net 57 times and conceded 23 goals, making them the side with the best striking force in the league.

Rayon’s suspended Burundian striker Cedric Amissi was the season’s top scorer with 13 goals.

APR’s league glory will have come as a major boost to their interim Rwandan coach Vincent Mashami who replaced German-born Andreas Spiers in February this year. 

Previous winners

1995 APR

1996 APR

1997 Rayon Sport

1998 Rayon Sport

1999 APR

2000 APR

2001 APR

2003 APR

2004 Rayon Sport

2005 APR

2006 APR

2007 APR

2008 Atraco

2009 APR

2010 APR

2011 APR

2012 APR

2013 Rayon Sport

2014 APR

 

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