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Bugesera vs SC Kiyovu
Marines FC vs Rayon Sports
Azam Rwanda Premier League archrivals SC Kiyovu Sport and Rayon Sports are embroiled a bitter row over two former Isonga FC players, with each club claiming to be the rightful owners of the duo going into the new season, which starts today.
The players at the centre of controversy are left-winger Savio Dominic Nshuti and goal keeper Bonheur Hategekimana, who were released by relegated Isonga at the end of last season.
Times Sport sought clarification from the Secretary Generals of the two clubs—Olivier Gakwaya of Rayon Sport and his SC Kiyovu counterpart, Elie Manirarora as well as the Rwanda football governing body, FERWAFA.
Gakwaya disclosed that Rayon Sports, without knowing that the players had prior arrangements with Kiyovu, held individual talks with each of them and consequently agreed to give both two-year contracts after paying them the sign-on fees, which he preferred not to reveal.
“All I can say is that they are our players because we have their release letters and they have already signed for Rayon Sports. Savio is training with the rest of the team but Bonheur is yet to report,” said Gakwaya.
Asked if they had any idea that the two players belonged to Kiyovu before signing them, Gakwaya explained that he had no idea, saying that, “I do not understand that because as I said, we have their release letters, how can a club sign a player without his release letter?”
Meanwhile, Manirarora insists that both players belong to Kiyovu. He even showed Times Sport copies of a two-year contract that Bonheur signed as well as other documents signed by both FERWAFA and Ministry of Sports and Culture approving Savio as a Kiyovu player raised from their academy.
“Both are Kiyovu players and we have appealed to FERWAFA about the two players and we are waiting for their ruling and whatever they will decide, we shall concur with it,” said Manirarora.
In a separate interview with FERWAFA secretary general, Mulindahabi acknowledged that they have received appeals from both clubs.
He said, “Whenever such cases arise, FERWAFA verifies to find out which of the parties involved is in the wrong, then we take the appropriate actions.”
The deadline for league clubs to submit their squads for the 2015/16 season was on September 9 and Rayon Sports and SC Kiyovu included both players in their respective squads.
The new season gets underway today with SC Kiyovu beginning their campaign away to newly promoted Bugesera FC, while Rayon Sports kick off the season against Marines FC at Tam Tam Stadium in Rubavu on Sunday.