When will Rayon Sports put its house to order?

Former Rayon Sports president, Denis Gacinya (pictured), chairs the Advisory Committee handling the team after the club's current president Sadate Munyakazi was banned for six months on Saturday, May 9. / File photo.

The Advisory Committee, which is composed of the club’s former presidents, voted Denis Gacinya to be their chairperson. Other members include Emile Rwagacondo, Paul Muvunyi, Prosper Muhirwa, Paul Ruhamyambuga, Theogène Ntampaka and Charles Ngarambe.

 

In 2012, everywhere the story was East or West, home is best. After 26 years in Kigali, the country’s capital, Rayon decided to relocate back to their original home base in Nyanza, Southern Province, following an agreement with Nyanza District authorities to help the team in management and financial support. However, the team stayed there for just one year.

 

Despite enjoying a wide fan base countrywide, with some census suggesting that at least 70 percent of Rwandans support Rayon, financial difficulties and poor leadership continue to undermine their progress.

 

Since last month, outspoken Munyakazi and Rayon Sports players, represented by skipper Eric Rutanga, have been exchanging many letters after the former controversially suspended the players’ salaries starting with March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and league suspension.

Rutanga, who argued that the decision lacked consultation and was unfair, reminded that the team had played all matches scheduled for the month by the time the league was suspended on March 15.

Then, the next day, the suspension was lifted, and the club said that it would start with April. Around the same time, the club’s top striker Michael Sarpong also saw his contract terminated with immediate effect for abusing Munyakazi in the media. The Ghana-born marksman allegedly said that Munyakazi was not ‘competent enough’ to lead a club like Rayon.

While the club may consider financial instability as their biggest hurdle, many observers and pundits say that shaky leadership of the nine-time champions is the disease, and the rest – finances and other challenges – are symptoms.

Rayon has seen bosses come, promises heaven on earth only to disappear, at times leaving the club in even worse conditions.

If Rayon Sports are to prosper as an organisation and regain trust from their millions of loyal fans across the country, they should focus on curing the disease, not the symptoms.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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