Players go on strike, want Shungu back and salary arrears paid
Rayon Sport yesterday sacked coach Raoul Shungu ahead of their league clash with table leaders Atraco on Sunday. Shungu was sacked on disciplinary grounds and his first reaction, he said, “I’ve been dismissed on grounds that I influenced players to write a letter to the committee demanding for their unpaid salaries.”
And in a related development, club captain Jimmy Gatete confirmed yesterday that they have halted training and have vowed not to return to the training ground until Shungu has been restored and their salary arrears paid.
“The coach (Shungu) is innocent. He is blamed for influencing us to write a letter requesting for our salaries but that’s not the case. We sat as players and wrote and signed the letter because we’ve gone for months without getting our salaries,” Gatete told Times Sport.
“How would they expect us to win without being paid? We are human beings and need to live like any other human being.
“For us (players) to return to training, the club officials must first bring back Shungu and as well pay our salaries arrears,” Gatete said, before confirming that they will not play the weekend league fixture against Atraco unless the two issues are solved.
Efforts to get a comment from the club Secretary General, Olivier Gakwaya proved futile as he consistently claimed to be held up in meetings. He was reluctant to comment.
When contacted for his comment, Rayon president, Senator Valence Munyabamugisha referred this reporter to his deputy Jean de Dieu Dukundane, who could not pick up his phone throughout the day.
Meanwhile, vice-president in charge of mobilization Patrick Itagishaka has also thrown in the towel to what he described as poor administration from the club’s top brass.
“I can’t continue to be abused regularly by the club which I support enthusiastically,” Itagishaka said yesterday in reaction to his resignation.
Last month, Rayon executive served Shungu with a last warning call for every mistake he allegedly committed during his second spell at the club.
The DR Congo born Coach has been blamed for the loss of Rwf15,000,000 on foreign players some of whom have deserted the team with outrageous monthly wages.
The club also indicted Shungu for spreading bad politics between the players and his assistant Jean Baptiste Kayiranga, whom he is accusing of insubordination.
The Blues also accused their coach of causing bad blood between the club and the football federation, Ferwafa.
Shungu is Rayon’s most successful coach having won them four league titles (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004), one Cecafa Club championship (1998).
After guiding the club to the 2004 league title, he left for greener pastures in Seychelles where he worked as their technical director until his return (to Rayon) last season.