Local volleyball clubs could soon find themselves in trouble if the interim sanctions imposed on Rwanda by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) are left in place.
The sanctions were imposed on the local volleyball federation last year and penalized the country for drafting ineligible players during the 2021 African Women’s Volleyball Championship held in Kigali in September.
If nothing changes, the local federation will not organize or organize a competition until September 2023, because the sanctions prohibit it, among other things.
Because of this, people familiar with the game fear that clubs could find themselves in a difficult situation where they could even stop paying their staff.
“Clubs pay players every month. Now when there is no competition it becomes difficult to pay the players, but the clubs do not work. It can become difficult for the clubs to find partners and sponsors, and this can seriously affect their finances affect.” ‘ said Geoffrey Zawadi, president of the REG volleyball club.
Vincent ‘Gasongo’ Dusabimana, a player of REG Volleyball Club, thought about the opportunities that players will miss if there is no sporting action in the country.
“There are several challenges that players face when competitions are not organized in the country. For example, if there is no competition, there is no opportunity to qualify to play in continental competitions, but still they are very important to get us known,” he said.
He also spoke about the financial challenges that the sanctions could pose.
“Players fear that if these sanctions continue, a financial crisis for clubs and players is inevitable. Some teams may end players’ contracts because there are no competitions,” he said.
He called on private entities to stand up and support the game in this time of need by organizing regular competitions for clubs to perform.
Elia Mutabazi, the Head Coach of APR Volleyball Club, advised that if sanctions continue, the federation should still use the time for productive activities, for example, stepping up efforts to care for young people who will appear for the country in the near future. .
“I think it is necessary to use this time to prepare young players so that by the end of the two-year sanction period we at least have players who can be used in the national teams,” he said.
He urged that the country should stop looking for quick results and start preparing for long-term success.
“For example, APR volleyball has been preparing kids for three years and it paid off as they immediately won the league title. The Ministry of Sports should devote more resources to preparing young people than participating in competitions,” he said.