The Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) was this week at the centre of a controversy that threatened the integrity of the National Football League.
They, for whatever reason, decided that a scheduled match between top clubs Rayon Sports and APR would not take place tomorrow, but on a later date; and despite lack of consent from the clubs, Ferwafa had dictated this postponement.
Hadn’t Rayon Sports threatened to quit the league altogether, it is very obvious that Ferwafa would have gone on with its baseless decision – and from what I’ve heard, it’s not the first time such illegal rulings have been made by Ferwafa.
When a game is postponed in such circumstances, the usual case is that the smaller clubs are the ones that suffer. Why? Because the bigger clubs are probably behind such a move.
They probably have injuries or their players are too fatigued to play; so all they do is make a single call to Ferwafa to postpone the game to a better time when they are fit for the game.
The most fair way to do this is to ask for the consent of both clubs; not just one. One wonders why Ferwafa would ignore such a common rule in football.
To make it worse, the reasons they gave for the Rayon-APR saga were all farfetched.
First of all they implied that the national police would not have the capacity to handle the huge crowd expected at the game. Of course the police spokesman came out to trash this talk.
Next, Ferwafa said that the Nyamirambo Stadium was too small, with only a capacity of 8000 and yet 23,000 fans are expected. So, one wonders whether the capacity of Nyamirambo changed overnight, for them to suddenly realise that a game as big as this one cannot be played there.
It’s not as if it the first time for Stade de Kigali to host big matches.
Either way, a keen eye sees malice and favoritism in this. Otherwise, why would APR be so comfortable about postponing such an important fixture, while Rayon does the extreme by threatening to quit all local football competitions?
Anyways, we can put that behind us since Ferwafa backed down. We shall gladly flock Nyamirambo and be part of the 8000 fans shouting their lungs out in support of our clubs.
APR and Rayon Sports are super favourites for this year’s title and with only three points separating them at the summit, this Sunday offers a mouthwatering contest—after all, there is no love lost between the two archrivals.
That aside, Ferwafa should start to act responsibly and professionally in ways that promote the integrity of our football.
The top flight division league is made up of 14 clubs and each of those must be treated equally or else we lose standards and develop situations of suspicion on every major decision.
Football is a passionate sport, which should exclude any sign of politicking or uncalled for deviations. The fans spend money to go and enjoy a show of Rwandan talent and they do not want to entertain what the bosses of Ferwafa are doing behind closed doors.
Their job should be about how to ensure that the league goes on as planned, to develop talent, to source for funds, and to ensure that Rwanda gets noticed on the international football map.
Other than that, they are just wasting resources.