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Rwanda: Events That Shaped the 2015/16 Football Season

Picture: Sam Ngendahimana/the new Instances

LEFT: Rayon Sports gamers rejoice the Peace Cup victory with the trophy after defeating APR FC 1-Zero within the last RIGHT: APR avid gamers and head Tutor Nazir Khanfir (C) rejoice with the trophy after being topped league champions.

In 2015/2016 Soccer league season, 240 games were played over 304 days. On The finish, APR FC had been topped champions for a file-extending Sixteenth time in 22 years, whereas Rwamagana Metropolis FC and AS Muhanga were relegated after finishing within the bottom two positions.

Geoffrey Asiimwe looks At The primary Events that Shaped the 2015/Sixteen Soccer season.

1. New season, new league sponsor

On August 24, 2015, a month Prior To the league started, Rwanda Soccer Federation (FERWAFA) got a five-12 Months sponsorship deal worth $2.35m with Tanzanian pay television firm Azam TELEVISION.

Following the signing of the multi-million sponsorship deal and broadcasting rights bundle, the league used to be renamed Azam Rwanda Most Effective League after Bralirwa, The Main league sponsors for the prior years dragged their toes over signing a new deal in 2014.

The Main point of contention for the brewery company was that their main competitor Skol had signed a Euro 50,000 three-Year handle league giants Rayon Sports Activities.

The five-Year sponsorship would see Azam pump $350,000 within the first Yr and increase the amount to $500,000 in each and every of the next 4 years with the entire Sixteen teams playing in the league being The Foremost beneficiaries.

2. Growth of the league to Sixteen groups

After signing the Azam TELEVISION deal, the choice of groups competing within the National league was once increased from 14 teams to Sixteen.

This used to be one of the major selections taken Through FERWAFA all the way through their two-day out of the ordinary general meeting with stakeholders on August 29-30, 2015 at Boni Consili Lodge, Huye District.

The 2 teams that have been introduced are AS Muhanga and Etincelles; sarcastically, AS Muhanga was once more relegated after ending bottom of the league desk. Increasing the choice of groups enjoying in the league was once a part of the agreement between FERWAFA and Azam TELEVISION.

Three. September 18, the league kicks off

The 2015/Sixteen season acquired underway on September 18, with defending champions APR and Peace Cup winners, Police FC, beginning as favourites to challenge for the title.

On The Other Hand; because the league season reached mid-means, there had been surprises with new title challengers surfacing in Mukura Victory Sports, who sat On The summit of the league desk with 32 points, 4 in advance of 2nd-placed AS Kigali, with APR sitting a point additional at the back of.

Four. League put on cling for over Four months

After fit day 9, the league was once put on hold for 3 months on November 7, 2015 to pave method for the Nationwide Soccer staff to prepare for the fourth model of Africa International Locations Championship (CHAN) which used to be held in Rwanda from January Sixteen via February 7.

CHAN 2016 hosts Rwanda reached the quarter-finals of the biennial event that attracted a total of Sixteen Countries Earlier Than crashing in opposition to DR Congo after a 2-1 loss in overtime. Congo went on to win the title after defeating Mali Three-Zero in the remaining at Amahoro National Stadium.

The break was once Additionally intended to allow Amavubi prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers in opposition to Libya-Rwanda was once knocked out from the competition after dropping 1-Zero within the first leg performed in Tunisia and three-1 in the 2nd leg at Kigali Regional Stadium.

Later in May, the league used to be again placed on hang for a month and a half to arrange for 2017 Africa Countries Cup qualifier against Mozambique that used to be played on June 4 at Amahoro Nationwide Stadium, a tie that Johnny McKinstry’s workforce lost 3-2 therefore ending their hope of qualifying.

5. FERWAFA Hotel scandal makes headlines

On February 9, Rwanda National Police arrested FERWAFA secretary common Olivier Mulindahabi and a expert, Eng. Adolphe Muhirwa over accusations of fraud in awarding a young for construction of a planned 88-room four-big name FERWAFA Hotel.

The case Also concerned the federation president, Vincent Nzamwita, who used to be Additionally being accused of unilaterally approving the beginning of construction works.

On June 24, Nzamwita used to be absolved of any wrongdoing within the mishandling of the Rwf4bn undertaking; However, the Kicukiro District-primarily based Nyarugunga Major Courtroom, discovered both Mulindahabi and Muhirwa guilty and surpassed every one among them a six-month penal complex sentence.

6. Managerial adjustments

As one would predict, the 2015/16 season has left quite a lot of preparation casualties through sacking and resignations. Rayon Sports used three coaches within the just concluded campaign, which culminated in successful the Peace Cup.

The First to return and go used to be Frenchman David Donadei, who started out the season with the club but resigned barely two months later.

Belgian, Ivan Jacky Minnaert was once appointed to interchange Donadei, but he too resigned in early March to take in a an identical function with Kenyan Optimum League side, AFC Leopards.

The club moved quickly to fill the void Via striking Djuma Masudi, a former club captain and striker in charge as period in-between Instruct and he led them to the Peace Cup victory for The Primary time in 11 years.

SC Kiyovu Additionally had a few modifications. Prior To the league kicked off, the membership unveiled Samuel Amamba as their new head Train, However; the Nigerian didn’t even take charge of a single sport and was sacked after three days following claims that he had used faux documents to apply for the job.

Former Isonga FC Educate Harmless Seninga was once appointed head Tutor, but in January, he used to be Also sacked after a Bad run of outcomes and used to be replaced with Yves Rwasamanzi.

Rwamagana-primarily based Break Of Day FC Also appointed former Rwanda international Jimmy Mulisa within the lead-as much as the league begin however he was later changed By Way Of Thierry Nzungu after Mulisa was once appointed FERWAFA assistant technical director.

Nzungu was Also replaced By former Rayon Sports Activities assistant Tutor, Sosthene Habimana, who’s at present in cost. Musanze FC Also parted company with Tanzania-born Educate Barack Hussein and appointed former Uganda international, George Semwogerere.

Another casualty used to be Andre Casa Mbungo, sacked Via Police FC with two video games left to finish of the season after a run of Bad outcomes that has seen the club finish the season empty-passed.

He has been changed Through Seninga, former Etincelles Educate after the latter saved the newly promoted aspect from the relegation, to complete in Twelfth place in league with 32 points.

In early April, AS Muhanga sacked head Educate Edouard Rutayisire and changed him with former Rayon Sports Train Abdu Mbarushimana until the end of the season.

Early this month, and with a recreation left, Abdul ‘Beken’ Bizimana resigned as Amagaju FC head Coach, citing irreconcilable variations along with his bosses. He has been changed Via his former assistant, Pablo Nduwimana.

7. Bad pitch conditions and empty grounds

The condition of some grounds remained a worrisome issue to many clubs to an extent that some golf equipment were pressured to host the home games away from their residence stadiums.

Examples embrace; Musanze FC’s Nyakinama floor, which, in the future this season, was once deemed risky to be used, and forced the membership to have a few of its residence fixtures in Kigali.

Also Nyamata ground, the house of Bugesera FC, raised plenty of questions and because of this their dwelling tie in opposition to Rayon Sports used to be played At The Kigali Regional Stadium.

Other playgrounds that raised extra questions than answers embrace; Amagaju’s Nyagisenyi and Kamarampaka floor for Espoir, where many journeying clubs dropped factors as a result of the Negative situation of the playing container.

On The Other Hand, attendance on fit days remained a serious risk to Rwanda’s Soccer as many grounds had been almost empty all through some games. As is with each season, Rayon Sports and APR remained The Two golf equipment that attracted giant crowds to stadiums.

8. New Kids on the block showcase their talent

With Out the slightest doubt, the 2015/16 season has seen the approaching to prominence of Rwanda’s future greats and unsurprisingly, some were shortlisted for FERWAFA awards, in different classes, set for July 29.

The spotlight of those upcoming youngsters was Mukura Victory Sports’ attacking midfielder Muhadjiri Hakizimana, who has considering the fact that signed for AS Kigali.

Eric Nshimiyimana’s facet moved faster to capture his signature ahead of league champions APR, who’re reportedly determined to get him.

The 22-12 Months-outdated midfielder, a youthful brother to Amavubi captain, Haruna Niyonzima, completed as the league’s joint top scorer with 16 targets, together with Police FC’s 20-Yr-old Danny Usengimana.

Some Other title knocking On The door of stardom is AS Kigali’s Onesme Twizerimana, who scored Eleven objectives as well as Rayon Sports and Amavubi winger, Savio Dominic Nshuti, who scored six objectives this season and guided his side to a Peace Cup title.

9. APR claims 16th file league title with a game to spare

Regardless Of their modest league start with a 2-1 house loss to Mukura and a 3rd situation end At The halfway stage, APR, new Tunisian head Train, Nizar Khanfir, managed to soar again and the club emerged champions for the 0.33 time in a row with a recreation to spare.

Despite shedding their remaining league suit 2-1 in opposition to AS Kigali, the military side completed with 67 factors, six factors beforehand of 2d-positioned and bitter rivals, Rayon Sports.

Shaped in 1993, APR received the league in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They’ve won the National championship a report Sixteen Occasions in comparison with Rayon Sports’ 7 titles-in 1975, 1981, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2013.

10. Rayon Sports Activities win Peace Cup after 11 years of waiting

Despite the frustration of lacking out on the league title, Rayon Sports Activities defeated their sworn enemy, APR, 1-0 in the remaining to claim the 2016 Peace Cup for The Primary time in view that 2005. The Blues Also hammered their biggest rivals Four-Zero in the league 2nd round.

It was Rayon Sports’ ninth file Peace Cup but only the fourth within the submit 1994 Genocide in opposition to Tutsi and The Primary due to the fact that 2005. For Djuma Masudi, who gained the competitors as Rayon Sports Activities captain 11 years ago, it used to be his first trophy as Tutor.

The victory handed Rayon Sports the chance to symbolize Rwanda in subsequent Year’s CAF Orange Confederation Cup. Rayon Sports Activities Additionally won the knockout competitors in 1976, 1979, 1982, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2005.

11. 2015/16 season overview

Rayon Sports completed the season with both the very best defence and attack. They scored a total of 50 targets and conceded only 12. They had been followed By Way Of APR, who scored 43 targets and conceded 18 whereas AS Kigali scored 45 and conceded 24.

Marines FC scored the fewest targets (19) in 30 games while AS Muhanga conceded the most objectives (Fifty Two objectives). Amagaju FC, Espoir FC and Marines drew most games (12) while Mukura VS drew the fewest (three).

The Most Important win of remaining season was once Rayon Sports 6-0 win against Amagaju while the game which produced the highest collection of goals was between SC Kiyovu and Gicumbi, which ended Four-Three in favour of the previous.

Seven players scored a hat-trick this season and these embrace; Rodriguez Murengezi (AS Kigali Four-Zero Daybreak), Danny Usengimana (AS Muhanga 1-5 Police), and Andre Lomami (Kiyovu SC 4-3 Gicumbi FC).

Others are Onesme Twizerimana (Etincelles 2-Four AS Kigali), Christopher Ndayishimiye (AS Muhanga vs Mukura), Ismaila Diarra (Bugesera Zero-4 Rayon Sports Activities) and Davis Kasirye (APR FC Zero-4 Rayon Sports).

12. Inaugural league awards

Following the conclusion of the league, FERWAFA will host the inaugural Azam Rwanda Optimum League Awards on July 29 in Kigali. The awards will go to folks, who excelled greater than Different in several classes.

Under are also the nominees for every category:

Football Player of the Yr

1. Muhadjiri Hakizimana (Mukura VS)

2. Savio Dominique Nshuti (Rayon Sports)

3. Pierrot Kwizera (Rayon Sports)

Best Possible Goalkeeper of the Yr

1. Andre Mpazimaka (Mukura VS)

2. Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Activity)

2. Jean Paul Mutabazi (SC Kiyovu)

Very Best Train of the Yr

1. Godefroid Okoko (Mukura VS)

2. Ally Bizimungu (Bugesera FC)

Three. Eric Nshimiyimana (AS Kigali)

Revelation Instruct of the 12 Months

1. Innoncent Seninga (Etincelles FC)

2. Djuma Masudi (Rayon Sport)

Three. Nizar Khanfir (APR FC)

Best Possible Referee

1. Hudu Munyemana

2. Abdul Karim Twagirumukiza

Three. Louis Hakizimana

Easiest Assistant Referee

1. Theogene Ndagijimana

2. Honore Simba

Three. Zephanie Niyonkuru

Promising Player

1. Blaise Itangishaka (Marines Fc)

2. Djabir Manishimwe (Rayon Activity)

3. Dominique Savio Nshuti (Rayon Sports Activities)

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