Editorial: Rayon Sports’ popularity not exploited as it should

Whenever popular football club, Rayon Sports, plays and wins, even against small local clubs, euphoria grips the whole country.

But when they overcome continental teams, its supporters go berserk, pour into the streets in their thousands and generally inundate the country in a cacophony of horns, vuvuzelas and turn traffic into nightmares.

Thursday night it was no different but the celebrations had a difference; it was the first time that a local team had qualified for the group stages of any CAF club competition. They had just edged out Clube de Desportos da Costa do Sol of Mozambique in a nail-biting finish to reach the group of the Confederation Cup.

It was as if Rayon Sports had won the cup itself. Every alighting member of the delegation was bedecked with a medal.

With Rwanda’s sports fraternity with nothing to write home about for many years, apart from the cycling team, and to a lesser extent, basketball and volleyball, the fans were in dire need of a rush of adrenaline and Rayon Sports provided it.

The night-long celebrations should leave Sports ministry officials and Rayon Sports leadership with a lesson; that they have a lot on their hands because they have failed to harness the club’s indisputable popularity and massive fan base.

If Rayon Sports could be organised into a commercial entity with identifiable ownership it can go far. But as long as the club’s leadership remains contented in basking in the limelight and empty praise songs, they will be doing a great disservice to a team that has so much potential.

And that goes to other teams too; they need to reorganise the way they do things.


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