FERWAFA should step in and save Rayon Sports

While we can point out improvements in the management of many Rwandan clubs this year, it’s hard finding anything worthy of praise about Rayon Sports Football Club.
Donadei announced on Wednesday that he was leaving Rayon Sports after just over a month in the job. (S. Ngendahimana)
Donadei announced on Wednesday that he was leaving Rayon Sports after just over a month in the job. (S. Ngendahimana)

While we can point out improvements in the management of many Rwandan clubs this year, it’s hard finding anything worthy of praise about Rayon Sports Football Club.

The 2013 league champions just can’t stop the fall. They tumble from scandal to scandal on and off the pitch and are in such a despicable state that the fans are too embarrassed and shocked, unable to figure out what’s really going on.

The poor fans are sad that their beloved club is stuck in the mire with no sign of hope in the near future.

On Saturday, Rayon Sports will be up against their bitterest rivals APR. But the so-called Rwandan ‘El Clasico’ has already been marred with inappropriate curtain raisers, considering that the Rayon Sports head coach David Donadei recently resigned, a few days to the d-day.

One month into the saucepan, the Frenchman chose to avoid the fire and deserted Rayon Sports on Wednesday. He cited that he’d literally gone broke after Rayon failed to pay his salary and bonuses as well as his hotel bills.

By resigning as soon as possible, Donadei wasted no time in finding out the hell that other managers had gone through at Rwanda’s most supported football club. Basically, he learnt from their mistakes.

He followed in the footsteps of Didier Gomes da Rosa, who left after clinching the 2013 league title, Luc Eymael, who stayed for just six months, Jean François Losciuto who quit after three months… and they are not the only ones.

Congolese Andy Mfutila was sacked in February 2014 after only two months in the job and his replacement, Sosthène Habimana, a former Rayon Sports player, remains the ever-present care-taker coach.

What’s more hurting however, is the manner in which Rayon chooses to go about this ignominy.

According to the Rayon Sports Secretary General, Olivier Gakwaya, Donadei was suspended because he was “undisciplined” and had plans to incite players to strike ahead of the APR game.

Sounds familiar! These are typical responses from the Rayon Sports store of excuses, which are now as stale as last week’s bread.

What’s now obvious at Rayon Sports – perhaps more obvious than a gorilla in a pack of mice – is that there is gross mismanagement at the club.

For matters beyond comprehension, players and staff do not get paid year in year out. This serves to tell that Rayon Sports is in a terrible state of indebtedness, or simply, that the management loves to take its staff for granted.

This mismanagement has even affected the club’s performance on the pitch, whereby, they are no longer considered as favorites for the national league.

They have quickly plummeted from being the darling club of many Rwandans to an unwanted blemish on Rwandan soccer. And for clubs that take this path, there can only be few solutions; change or be forced to change.

In England for example, football clubs can choose or be ordered to enter a state of “administration” whenever they are unable to pay off debts.

This will mean that the club’s management is put under accountants to strictly control everything other than coaching the players and selecting teams for competitions.

Rayon needs a quick fix, and if the club is to be saved from this suicidal state, Rwandan football governing body, FERWAFA needs to consider asking Rayon to swallow this bitter pill of administration.

 

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