The Rwanda Ministry of Sports has been forced to suspend football actions in the country due to the rolling number of reported coronavirus cases.
Rwanda Premier League season started on December 4th where three matches had been played.
However, after 12 of Rayon Sports’ players and staff returned positive tests, the government took the measure to curb the further spread.
Rayon Sports received the news of the infection at their camp after they had engaged Rutsiro FC and played out a 1-1 draw in Rubavu.
The players and the staff were put under mandatory isolation and consequently, their next games were postponed.
“We made long-term investments and we are at loss already,” Kiyovu SC president Juvenal Mvukiyehe was quoted by The New Times.
“You can imagine the money we invested for this season but such a decision comes all of a sudden, without even informing us beforehand,” he added.
Meanwhile, the cancellation of the season surprised top clubs, especially Kiyovu Sports Club.
The club had just invested a lot in their bid to win the league title.
They spent over Rwf200 million to build a strong team in the transfer window as well as in the pre-season camp and payment of salaries.
Sunrise FC vice-president William Nimwebaze, on the other hand, said there was a need to involve clubs before the decision was made.
“Many of us will find it difficult to bounce back from this huge loss.”
“This is because we are going to pay players’ wages, rent and other expenses while the football activities are suspended,” Nimwebaze said.
The Minister of Sports’ advisor Oleg Karambizi said they were forced to make the move as guidelines were not followed.
“The ministry took this decision based on non-compliance to Covid-19 preventive measures.”
“The government is responsible for its citizens’ health safety,” Karambizi said.
“The FA needs to sit and review Rwanda Premier League plans accordingly.
“And, as far as business and investments are concerned, we shouldn’t ignore the Covid-19 prevalence and its rising cases.”
The plans could affect AS Kigali particularly heavily since they are set to meet KCCA FC in the Caf Confederation Cup first round in December and January.