Can rivals stop APR winning 4th consecutive title?

Will APR be dethroned of the league title this season? This is the raging question that is forming furious debate in football circles in the country. The military side is the most decorated side after amassing 12 titles in just 17 years, a feat that has been possible largely to their financial muscle.
APR players posing with the 2010-11 Primus League trophy. The New Times / File
APR players posing with the 2010-11 Primus League trophy. The New Times / File

Will APR be dethroned of the league title this season? This is the raging question that is forming furious debate in football circles in the country.

The military side is the most decorated side after amassing 12 titles in just 17 years, a feat that has been possible largely to their financial muscle.

In trying to maintain their local dominance and perform better in regional and continental tournaments, APR brought in players like Dan Wagaluka, Olivier Karekezi, Habib Kavuma, Seleman Ndikumana, Papy Fatty, Ali Mbogo, Alex de Avila Peixoto, Douglas Lopes Carneiro, Oliveiro Alves and Preux Leonel in the transfer window.

But after 7 games in the league, APR is finding themselves in unfamiliar territory, the side is currently in 4th place, 3 points adrift of Mukura who have played a game more.

Although that statistic does not ring alarm bells, the champions have so far won 4, drawn two and lost one in the seven matches that they have played, yet last season they only lost once and did not draw any of the 22 league matches they played.

Rivals ‘watch Kiyovu which finished second last year is a point behind the champions, while Police and Etincelles are 2nd and 3rd respectively with 15 points.

Mukura, the only side to inflict a loss on APR are a rejuvenated side after the horrors of last season where they survived relegation.

The Huye based side now tops the league after recording one of their best starts in the Primus league in years.

But the big question remains whether all of APR’s rivals can sustain a long time challenge to wrestle the league title from them.

One of the reasons that the military side has been inconsistent is the new Ferwafa rule that bars clubs from using more five non-nationals in any starting 11 of every match.

Ten of the 26 APR team are foreigners unlike their rivals who posses more than half of nationals in their squads.

With 4 matches before the end of the first round of the league, the onus now is on Police, Rayon Sports, Etincelles, Kiyovu and Mukura to halt the champions from clinching a 4th consecutive league title.

ostine.arinaitwe@newtimes.co.rw

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News