Rayon Sports, one of the oldest football clubs in the country and by far the most popular, are dominating headlines again – and for the wrong reasons again!
This time, the never-ending troubles at the club needed the intervention from the Ministry of Sports and the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and, as it was expected, major changes were announced during a press conference on Tuesday.
Sadate Munyakazi, now-former president, and his entire executive committee were ordered to step down and a new interim leadership team is to take over not later than today, September 24.
The criticism aimed at Munyakazi – for poor leadership and lack of accountability – had been growing louder since his election in July 2019. And, with no matches to distract critics since March, the off-field problems, which Rayon has never been short of, only got worse.
For some fan groups and members of past leaderships, who make the club’s advisory council, Tuesday’s shakeup did not come soon enough. Many had lost faith in Munyakazi and his team several months before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and forced the league into break.
Needless to say, all local clubs have the financial impact – due to the coronavirus pandemic – to weather, but no club has had a bad spell during this challenging time like Rayon.
Not only does Rayon owe its creditors over Rwf800 million, and only have Rwf200,000 cash on their bank account, the club will also need to rebuild the team almost from scratch after most of its key players left for greener pastures mainly due to prolonged periods without pay.
RGB has tasked the new leadership to fix the turbulent turmoil at the club within 30 days or else stiffer measures will be applied, which may include a temporary suspension of the club.
With the departure of beleaguered Munyakazi, Rayon Sports and its incoming committee have a huge responsibility and an opportunity to put their house in order before the new football season gets underway.
For Rayon to find lasting solutions to the crisis and be a team that their upset millions of fans are proud of again, two fundamental things have to be assured – unity and accountability at the club.