Rayon, FERWAFA disagree on trophy-awarding ceremony

IT is official that Rayon Sports are the 2016/2017 national league champions. The club is only waiting to be handed their trophy. But Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) and Rayon have disagreed on when the official crowning ceremony should be held.
Rayon Sports midfielder Savio Nshuti battles with APR left-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe during the first round game, which the army side won 1-0. The two rivals will meet again on Sunday. / Sam Ngendahimana
Rayon Sports midfielder Savio Nshuti battles with APR left-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe during the first round game, which the army side won 1-0. The two rivals will meet again on Sunday. / Sam Ngendahimana

Sunday
Rayon Sports vs APR FC 3:30pm

IT is official that Rayon Sports are the 2016/2017 national league champions. The club is only waiting to be handed their trophy.  But Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) and Rayon have disagreed on when the official crowning ceremony should be held.  

 

While Rayon Sports want to be officially crowned on May 28 after their game against APR FC at Stade de Kigali in Nyamirambo, FERWAFA has insisted that the ceremony will be conducted after the final match of the season on June 15.

 

Rayon Sports won their eighth league title following a 2-1 win over Mukura with four games to spare and afterwards the club made it clear that their wish was to receive the trophy on May 28, during their final home game.

 

However, on Wednesday, FERWAFA released a statement indicating that Rayon Sports will be officially crowned champions on the final match day of the season on June 15.

Rayon Sports were quick to protest the decision and even threatened to boycott the remaining two games if FERWAFA doesn’t rescind their decision.

On Friday, the club wrote to FERWAFA, a letter, which Saturday Sport has seen, asking the federation to instead organise a friendly game at the end of the season specifically meant for trophy-awarding ceremony.

“Based on the statement that you released yesterday informing us on when we shall be handed the 2016-17 league title, we have written to inform you that we are not ready to receive the trophy on the final match day when we are supposed to visit SC Kiyovu, ” the letter reads in part.

The letter, signed off by Rayon Sports president Denis Gacinya, adds, “It’s in that regard that we ask that, together, we can organise a friendly match at the end of the season meant to hand us the title.”

When asked, FERWAFA spokesperson Prosper Ruboneza told Saturday Sport that he had heard about the letter but is yet to receive it.

“However I want to make this clear, under FERWAFA statutes, we don’t have any law governing how and when the league title is handed to the winner.

“However, the title is given to the champions either after the immediate match that makes them champions or at the final league game,” he explained.

He noted that it has never happened before that the title is handed over in the middle of the league. “Therefore, if they (Rayon) stick to their threat of not honouring the remaining games like I have heard in the media, FERWAFA has got laws on such cases and they will be applied obviously,” he added.

With two matches left to the end of the season, Rayon Sports have amassed 69 points, 13 points ahead of second-placed APR FC, who face a tough battle for second place, with Police FC lurking in third with 55 points.

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