Gisenyi — The 2008/09 national football league will start on October 4, the local football governing body, Ferwafa has confirmed.
Ferwafa confirmed this over the weekend during the federation's Ordinary General Assembly held at Novotel Hotel in Gisenyi, Northern Province.
And according to the federation boss Brig. Gen. John Bosco Kazura, the league start has been pushed to October on the request of different top flight divisions clubs to allow enough time to prepare.
"Our members [clubs] made their request of pushing the league to early October and in turn, this will also give us [federation] ample time to scrutinize the players' transfers.
"We have also given the clubs enough time to out together their squads including their new signings and contract details before sending the lists to the federation for approval," Kazura said emphasizing that any player's license will be accompanied with his contract contrary to the past seasons where clubs would sign players without any awareness about their contracts.
"This is a new system which will is going to help us crackdown on players who feature in different football leagues in the country," Kazura added.
He noted that any club that breaches of the federation rules and regulations including failure to present their players' contract and transfers documents will lead to severe punishments which could go as far as being thrown out of the league.
Last year's defending champion Atraco will open the 2008/09 league against newly promoted side La Jeunesse. On the same day, nine-time league title champions APR will face another newly promoted side Amagaju while Rayon Sport will host Police.
Kiyovu will face Marines while Mukura will host Electrogaz in Huye. In a related development, eight stadiums countrywide were approved for use during the 2008/09 season.
They include: Amahoro stadium, Shorongyi, Mironko, Mumena, Huye, Camp Kigali, Rubavu, Gatwaro and Muhanga.
Meanwhile, the general assembly also authenticated that any local player found featuring in two separate leagues will be banned.
This comes in the wake of various cases from the previous years where players freely featured in the local leagues at the same time leagues in the neighboring DR Congo According to Kazura; Ferwafa will contact FIFA and CAF for further implementation of the punishment.
Also during the general assembly it was confirmed that each club will be allowed to field not more than five foreigner players simultaneously.
It was also agreed that all league clubs must take care of their playground including arranging security for the visiting teams and officials and ensure that the playing surface meets the basic standards.
Ferwafa is also eyeing to offer more courses for national referees so as to improve on the deteriorating officiating in the Rwandan game.
The General Assembly also approved that international build-up games be organized for both the U-17 and U-20 national football teams.
The U-17 team will play one fixture against a yet to be known team before facing Burkina Faso in the third round of the African U-17 qualifiers while the U-20 is expected to play over five build-up fixtures before January so as a way of lining a solid national youth team which will be hunting for the continental title on home soil from January -February 2.
Eight stadiums approved to host league matches
Opening day league fixtures
Atraco v La Jeunesse
Rayon v Police
Kiyovu v Marines
Mukura v Electrogaz
AS Kigali v Kibuye
APR v Amagaju