Rwanda: Ferwafa to Consult Top Flight Clubs Over League Resumption

22 December 2020

The National Football governing body (FERWAFA) will on Thursday, December 24, meet officials of premier league clubs to discuss the possibility of resuming the 2020/21 Rwanda Premier League.

The new league campaign started on December 4 but was suspended on December 11 after just three match days when it was discovered that some players and clubs had violated Covid-19 guidelines, by not testing players for Covid-19 before match days while others allegedly provided fake Covid-19 results.

The premier league suspension, however, surprised top flight clubs which are already claiming to be at risk of financial losses from the investments made so far.

Kiyovu SC, one of the big spenders this season claim to have invested Rwf 200 million on new players and other expenses in preparation for the league and added that they could lose corporate sponsorship if the suspension goes on.

The majority of top flight club officials blamed FERWAFA for failing to coordinate the premier league in line with the preventive guidelines of Covid-19, something that resulted in the league suspension.

Some premier league club officials who spoke to Times Sport said that it will be difficult to bounce back as they are already counting losses over paying players' wages, rent and other expenses while the football activities are suspended.

Many believed that the decision to suspend the Premier League came after 12 of Rayon Sports players tested positive for Covid-19 after the club's 1-1 draw against Rutsiro FC on December 4 in Rubavu.

However, Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, said that the clubs and players' failure to comply with the preventive protocols prompted the Ministry to suspend the league, revealing that a number of top flight teams are being investigated for allegedly presenting fake Covid-19 documents.

This came after 5 top flight teams namely Rayon Sports, AS Kigali, APR FC, Amagaju and Rutsiro FC, registered Covid-19 positive cases amongst their staff.

Mimosa said that the current decision to suspend the Rwanda Premier League will be withdrawn after all the teams comply with fresh guidelines that were recently given to them.

Following the league suspension, FERWAFA was requested to review the Covid-19 guidelines before the Sports Ministry gives a green light to resume.

While clubs remain in dilemma over when exactly the league will resume, the football governing body is optimistic a consultative meeting with premier league clubs this week will help to set in place ways for the league to return to action.

The meeting will "discuss the issues that came up at the beginning of the football premier league and brainstorm on the resumption of the 2020-21 football premier league," reads an email sent by FERWAFA Secretary General Francois Regis Uwayezu to all topflight clubs.

Meanwhile, all players were sent back home after being tested for Covid-19.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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