Questions remain surrounding power blackout during Rubavu football derby – UMUSEKE – News indeed
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Police are still carrying out a thorough investigation to ascertain the circumstances under which the season curtain raiser match between rivals APR FC and Rayon Sports was abandoned due to power failure.

The match was suspended due to the power blackout

On September 23, the Super Cup match between league champions (Rayon Sports) and Peace Cup winners (APR FC) was called off in the 63rd minute after a generator that powers the stadium gave in.

The game was taking place at the refurbished 5,300-seat Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu District.

According to the Western Region Police Spokesperson, Theobald Kanamugire, there were no incidents reported during the game; however, there are questions that need to get answered.

This was not the first time a power black-out had interrupted a football match, leading to its suspension.

In June last year, two people were arrested in connection to a generator malfunction during a CHAN football game in Huye district in the southern province.

This time round, Police would have to determine what is causing the generators to not function, Police said.

Investigations seek to establish if it is due to negligence, human error, technical fault or whether the generators are substandard, faulty or poorly maintained.

The debate on who is responsible and who should be held accountable was taken to social media with many fans demanding action and asking the Ministry of Sports and Culture and the football federation (Ferwafa) to review all stadiums and their generators to ensure such as a case does not happen again.

“We are still conducting investigations on what really happened for the generator to go off. We will release the findings to the public,” Kanamugire said.

He commended fans for being patient and calm during the incident, saying no incidents were reported during the power blackout.

“We have not had a complaint of a robbery during the blackout or any injuries. There was no stampede. Fans were calm,” Kanamugire added.

The acting mayor of Rubavu, Janvier Murenzi, told The New Times that the unfortunate incident was an isolated case and should not stop the district from hosting big matches.

“We are waiting for the Police report as they are working with technicians to get to the bottom of what went really on that night. The stadium had hosted night games before and had not faced such a case,” Murenzi said.

Jean-Claude Kwizigira, a radio commentator who attended the game, said this was the second time that power had went off at this stadium as a week before the same thing had happened.

“I think the ministry in charge and even the football federation should look into it and renew the power installation at those two venues,” Kwizigira said.

The Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) held a crisis meeting last week, and decided that the final 27 minutes of the game are played at Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.

Rayon held on to win the curtain raiser.

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