APR face tough test to retain league title

The big boys are still big, probably bigger than they were last season. As soon as the season kicked off last Sunday, APR, Rayon Sports, Police, as well as last season's surprise package, AS Kigali glided to convincing wins.
1414176512ivan-rush
Ivan R. Mugisha

The big boys are still big, probably bigger than they were last season. As soon as the season kicked off last Sunday, APR, Rayon Sports, Police, as well as last season’s surprise package, AS Kigali glided to convincing wins.

With each club having two games under its belt so far, it’s even tougher to choose who should be in number one spot. Both Rayon and Police are in dazzling form and share parallel statistics, while APR is also not far behind, sitting in third.

The neutrals assume that Rayon Sports will struggle this season due to the various troubles they have had to endure.

Their coach, Jean François Losciuto, suddenly went missing, while the club has also had to adjust by buying new players to fill five first team voids vacated by those judged to be ineligible due to the “double identity” scandal that rocked local football.

Nevertheless, it is so far so good. Rayon have won both their games and sit at the top of the league. Credit must be given to Sosthene Habimana, the interim head coach who has managed to squeeze the best out of his squad in such a short time.

However, time will tell if they can go all the way despite the muddle they have been through.

Last year’s champions APR have a point to prove – and they have all the fire power to do just that. They are garnering for a historic double on the back of a triumphant season that stretched them to the wire by rivals Police and Rayon.

It is no longer an easy road for APR though. They are the same well-built lion, but the years of dominance are in history and now they must sweat a little more for glory, which makes the league all the more luscious.

Ferwafa should wake up from its TV rights slumber

I cannot recall a particular time when Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) impressed me. Every time they are about to do so, they uncover a new way to pull down their trousers again.

Frankly speaking, they’ve had close to six months to sell broadcasting TV rights to a suitable media house, but frustratingly, it is just recently that they put out a notice calling for interested media houses.

If this is not sickening, I don’t know how else I can put it. Fourteen games have been played so far but none has been televised just because the TV rights issue is not yet finalised.

Last I checked, a local channel, TV10 had secured these rights in a US$1.2 million (Rwf827m) deal that was set to revolutionise the landscape for both local football and TV viewership.

Many other broadcasters, led by Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), complained that they had placed bids but were shocked to hear that TV10 had secured the rights before the rest could get an official response from Ferwafa.

Just like many observers, I wondered where Tele10 was going to get all that money, but anyways, the deal fell through – just as anticipated.

Now Ferwafa is calling for bids again, when the league is by now underway. I can only wonder why everything has to be a mess with Ferwafa – or what they’ve been up to all this time when there’s been no single football event going on?