Hills’ official reason for exiting league is far-fetched – rugby chief

Hertier Habimana of Thousand Hills protects the ball from a Resilience player. Sam Ngendahimana.

The national rugby federation (RRF) president, Alex Araire, has hit back at Thousand Hills Rugby Club, claiming that their reasons of exiting the national rugby league are bizarre and far-fetched.

The Gatenga-based side withdrew from the rugby league in August, accusing RRF of failing to avail medical equipment and a doctor at games.

Hills argued that players get serious injuries and put careers at risk, and the least they deserved while playing was to have medical personnel and emergency equipment on hand.

The former champions quit the league with immediate effect after playing six out of eight games of the season. At the time, they lead the central zone standings ahead of Kigali Sharks who were eventually crowned champions last weekend at Amahoro Stadium.

Speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday, Araire insisted that the club’s sudden decision to pull out of the league with two match rounds to play was strange and wrong.

“I do not think they told the whole truth about their withdrawal, the lack of emergency equipment was a scapegoat. It is true that we can’t afford an ambulance at each of the 38 league games in a season, but we have a doctor on the ground at every game,” he noted.

He added that, “The cost of an ambulance at a game is Rwf100,000, that’s Rwf3.8m a season yet our budget for the whole season is Rwf4.2m – which means we would be spending around 90% of the budget just on one vehicle.”

The RRF president also pointed out that before the start of the season, all teams signed an agreement on how the budget would be split and the 90% for ambulance costs were never part of it.

Meanwhile, Araire has applauded to Kigali Sharks for winning their first rugby league title and first runners-up Resilience Rugby Club for an impressive season despite losing 27-14 to Sharks in the final.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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