Those familiar with Rwandan football landscape agree that much as Rayon Sports are the most popular club in the country,they are also the most controversial.
Since their inception at Nyanza,the blue side has always attracted millions of fans around the country.Rwandans from all walks of life sing ‘Murera’-the famous club chant.
It went even further as some started nicknaming their beloved side’God’s team’.
Although Rayon recently attracted Skol as its shirt partner,they relies on match day revenue to make ends meet thanks to their fan base that turn up in large numbers and fill stadiums.Even rivals enjoy hosting them as they boost their pockets.Wherever Rayon play,stadiums are filled.
Nonetheless this populality comes wth a price-perhaps one they are willing to pay.Misunderstandings have always been inside the leadership of the blues.Presidents come and go but quarrels remain.
Corona virus pandemic has ravaged the sporting world and Rwanda was not an exception.Local teams halted players salaries with lack of match day revenues given as an excuse.Rayon agreed to pay their players March salaries but could not go on with the following months. Sarpong,their dominant talisman protested claiming that Sadat,the club president is unable to lead it ;and the player was subsequently fired.
Part of the problem was Skol’s decision to assist players in this tough period.The company vowed to give each player 100,000 to 150,000 Rwandan francs,plus a sack of rice.However,this decision was made without the club’s consent;something that irritated the committee and some players.
Misunderstandings go even deeper inside fan clubs. Gikundiro fan group,a leading fan base has released a letter protesting the decision taken by the national fan base committee to summon the club’s executive committee.The group is reportedly irritated by the decision which was not made without being consulted.As a result ,its vice president,Nshimiyimana Emmanuel alias Matic has been temporarily suspended.
While factions are not something new in this club,football has for long shielded it from these non-technical failures. With corona virus seemingly here to stay,things can only go worse for this much loved but controversial football team that is built around its core fan base.