CLAIMS that the English Barclays Premier League is one of the most popular and watched football leagues hold some water, Ostine Arinaitwe reports.
Sunday’s Manchester derby (Manchester United vs Manchester City) has compelled the local football governing body (Ferwafa) to delay the Primus League’s most popular fixture; APR vs Rayon by a few hours on the same day.
Fearing that Amahoro stadium, the venue for the fixture would be half empty because of the Manchester derby whose kick-off is programmed for 2.30pm; Ferwafa decided to reschedule the APR-Rayon match from 3.30pm to 5pm, about 30 minutes after the match to make sure they get a capacity crowd at the stadium.
According to Rayon Sport’s Secretary General Olivier Gakwaya, the Manchester derby will be screened on Amahoro Stadium’s giant screens at no cost.
“There was a high chance that we would have a small crowd in the stadium had we stuck to the original kick-off time,” Gakwaya said before adding, “To incite fans to show up for the league game, the Man Utd vs Man City will be broadcasted live at Amahoro Stadium so fans will have the luxury of watching the derby and the Rayon-APR game in the same venue.”
Gakwaya also dismissed reports that some Rayon players are unsettled because of unpaid salaries.
“It is true that the players are yet to receive their pay-checks for September but that should be no cause for alarm because the payment process is on course and they will have their salaries before Sunday’s match.”
In particular, the game is crucial for Jean Marie Ntagwabira’s side who dropped to third place after Sunday’s shocking 2-1 defeat against La Jeunesse.
APR, who are yet to drop a point this season, top the table with 12 points.