Coronavirus: Rayon Sports’ budget affected by league break – Munyakazi

The Rwandan club’s top official confirms they have been left financially broke after they suspended the league owing to Covid-19

Rayon Sports have revealed they have to find new ways to pay players since the Rwanda Premier League took a break owing to the effects of the coronavirus.

Sportsmen in the country started feeling the pinch as early as March 15 when the Rwanda Football Federation announced matches will be played behind closed doors.

A couple of days later things became even more serious when all sports activities and events were halted when the country registered its first Covid-19 case.

In an interview with Times Sports, Sadate Munyakazi, the President of Rayon Sports, shed some light on the woes, saying their budget has since been affected owing to the pandemic.

Munyakazi says the club used to get at least Rwf15 million from gate collections every month, and now, their budget has been hugely affected by the suspension of the football league.

“Ninety percent of the money Rayon Sports uses is from our fans, and it is mostly collected at stadiums,” he said.

“We are financially confronted with this situation. We have to find a way to pay our players, because they have contracts with us, and we are obliged to give them monthly salaries.”

To this effect, the club has come up with a campaign to raise funds from its fans during these hard times.

Since Saturday last week, the club has collected about Rwf2.5mf million from its fans. This is just a small portion of the 20 million they hope to raise, but officials say it is so far not faring badly.

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Rayon Sports and other clubs’ troubles are, however, just one facet of a big problem: many other stakeholders in the game are losing money, and among these are service providers like hospitals who used to be paid for ambulatory services on match days, vendors who used to sell drinks and snacks inside stadiums, ball boys, ushers for VIP seats, and transport companies that used to take players to stadiums.

With 24 matches played so far in the Rwanda Premier League, clubs remain with only six matches to go.

The season was meant to be concluded by May 31, but now, officials are not sure when the league will end.

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