All foreign football players featuring for any side in Azam Rwanda Premier League have been asked to acquire work permits or else they risk not being licensed to play this season.
This has been confirmed by Rwanda Football Association, Ferwafa. “No foreign player featuring for any Rwandan club will be issued a player’s license for the 2018/19 season without first presenting a valid Work Permit,” said Bonnie Mugabe, the local football governing body’s spokesperson.
He stressed that the rule is not new, “it has been around for a long time except that, now it has come into force.”
With the rule into force, all foreign players must acquire work permits from the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration before being cleared to play for their respective teams.
Talking to this publication, Nigerian midfielder Johwa Obarhuakpor who is due to play for Rusizi-based league side Espoir FC, said he was in the process of acquiring his permit.
“I, and my colleagues, are looking for work permits, that’s a precondition we have given by our different teams if we are to feature in the 2018/19 season. We are in the processing at the moment,” soon-to-be Espoir midfielder, Obarhuakpor, said.
He further noted that with the work permits, he hopes it will ease the process of renewing players’ visas when they expire.
Several clubs including; Rayon Sports, SC Kiyovu, AS Kigali, Musanze, Mukura VS and Etincelles, to name a few, have signed players from Uganda, DR Congo, Burundi, Ghana and Ivory Coast – and they all have to get the work permits before playing for their teams.
This year’s CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finalists, Rayon Sports, are among the teams with a big number of foreign imports in the just started 2018-19 season.
The Blues started the new campaign with a 1-0 victory away to Etincelles at Umuganda Stadium and will be hosting rivals Mukura on match-day 2 of the league at Kigali Stadium on Sunday.