A football official at Rayon Sport has been forced to resign from his position as an executive member for publicly supporting rivals APR in a continental game.
Patrick Rukundo resigned from his position as the Head of Conflict Resolution at the club for donning an APR jersey during the army side’s Caf Champions League match against Egypt’s Pyramids.
For Rayon Sport fans whose rivalry with APR stems from over 25 years ago, this was impossible and he had to leave his position.
“I write this letter to resign from my position in the conflict resolution committee of Rayon Sports,” Rukundo’s resignation letter reads in part as quoted by The Times Of Rwanda.
“I was really surprised. I have known him for quite two decades and I do not doubt his loyalty for Rayon Sports. But I couldn’t believe he would do that; I really don’t recall him showing sympathy to APR,” a friend of Rukundo told Times Sport.
“What he did is a mess. He should have known who APR are to Rayon Sports. But he ignored the rivalry and did something that nobody at Rayon has done before. He betrayed us,” said Patrice Mugabo, a Blues fan.
“Rayon Sports and APR are rivals. There are even fans who chose to support a foreign team when APR is playing at home.
“I don’t think he put on the jersey all of a sudden, he thought about it, but, at times, it sparked controversy because he has responsibilities at Rayon Sports,” said sports pundit Eric Nsabimana.
In Africa, football is more than just a game, it’s a way of life. The continent is home to some of the most passionate football fans in the world, and this is reflected in the intense rivalries that exist between some of the top teams like Rayon Sport and APR in Rwanda.