Due to the growing number of confirmed coronavirus cases, the Rwandan Ministry of Sports has suspended football activities in the country.
The season began on December 4, where three matches were played, but after 12 positive tests were returned by Rayon Sports players and workers, the government took the step to curb the further spread.
After hiring Rutsiro FC and playing a 1-1 draw in Rubavu, Rayon received the news of the infection in their camp. The players and the personnel were put under mandatory isolation and their next games were also postponed.
Top clubs, especially Kiyovu Sports Club, which had invested a lot in their bid to win the league title, were surprised by the cancellation of the season.
In the transfer window, as well as in the pre-season camp and payment of wages, the club invested over Rwf200 million to create a strong team.
“We’ve made long-term investments and are already at a loss,” Juvenal Mvukiyehe, president of Kiyovu SC, told The New Times.
“You can imagine the money we have invested for this season, but all of a sudden such a decision comes, without even informing us in advance.”
Mvukiyehe said that only the clubs affected were expected to be isolated from the league proceedings.
“If only one club reported cases, then the club should have taken responsibility for the implications instead of suspending the league,” he said.
“Many clubs are not satisfied with this decision because we are counting losses already.”
On the other hand, Sunrise FC vice-president William Nimwebaze said that before the decision was taken, there was a need to include clubs.
Many of us would find it difficult to bounce back from this huge loss because while football operations are suspended, we will pay the salaries, rent, and other expenses of players,” Nimwebaze said.”
The government, along with the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa), gave the green light to the teams to assemble under strict adherence to the coronavirus protocols for preparation for the new season.
Oleg Karambizi, the advisor to the Minister of Sports, said they were forced to make the change as guidelines were not followed.