Eleven member clubs of the 16-team Rwanda Premier League have suspended contracts of their players, and will not be paid starting with April, amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

Over the past two weeks, players from different clubs, including Rayon Sports, have been complaining about unpaid salary and allowances dues and lack of communication from their clubs.

Some players from Mukura Victory Sport who talked to The New times, on condition of anonymity, revealed that they have not been paid since last December as the Huye-based outfit face cash restraints.

This publication has reliably learned that only five clubs – APR, Police, Gasogi United, Marines and AS Kigali – are paying their players and coaching staff, while the rest have opted not to until the topflight league is back – when the lockdown is over.

Rayon Sports,Musanze, Espoir make it official

Three teams Rayon sports, Musanze and Espoir officially wrote to their players and coaches that they would not be paid effectively from this month, until the topflight league is back.

According to a statement released by Rayon Sports on Monday, April 20, the decision backdates to March, meaning the players are only owed the February salaries.

Later on, in a letter addressed to Rayon Sports president, Sedate Munyakazi, on Tuesday, Captain Eric Rutanga argued that the decision is a violation of players’ contracts, did not take into account recommendations from Fifa and the local football body (Ferwafa) and neither were the players consulted before the decision was made.

“On behalf of the players that I represent, I request that the club reverses its decision and consult players first. Besides, it is unfair not to be paid for March yet we played all the matches that were scheduled for the month.”

“But if nothing is done, we will seek justice through other available channels.” Rutanga said.

Of the 16 teams that make the local topflight league, only five teams have continued to pay their players during the coronavirus lockdown.

Teams not paying players: Rayon Sports, Mukura, SC Kiyovu, Sunrise, Bugesera, AS Muhanga, Espoir, Musanze, Etincelles, Heroes and Gicumbi.