The Rwanda national football federation (FERWAFA) has ordered Sports Club Kiyovu to play hosting games without fans.
Ferwafa said Monday, its ethics committee found Kiyovu fans guilty of insulting and abusing international referee Salima Mukansanga during and after the club’s league match against Gasogi United on Friday, January 20 2023 at Bugesera Stadium.
FERWAFA said that offensive slurs were repeatedly chanted at Salima Mukansanga by fans from Kiyovu Football Club as she refereed their 0-0 draw .
The ethics committee has linked the harassment, and attempted assault to article 21 of the FERWAFA statute which calls for the right to impose a stadium ban or others actions to fans whose behaviour either inside the stadium or outside the stadium affects or poses a threat to the safety and security of the event or to other people.
“Ferwafa, associations and teams are responsible for the conduct of players, officials, members, fans, and anyone else assigned by the association to work on the game.” The FA wrote in a statement.
“The Ethical Commission of Ferwafa has ordered Kiyovu Sports team to play one match, without fans in the stadium, the decision takes immediate effect.” the statement further reads.
Ferwafa added that this decision can be appealed in writing, within two days after being notified.
The club will host Marines FC on February 18, 2023, without fans in the stadium.
Rwanda Investigative Bureau (RIB) on Saturday said they had arrested six people for allegedly hurling insults at a woman who made history as one of the first female referees chosen for the men’s World Cup.
Thierry Murangira, spokesman for RIB told AFP that three women and three men were arrested on Thursday. “Those arrested are being investigated for hurling insults in public and for discrimination,” Murangira said.
“They are suspected to have committed these crimes during a football match between Kiyovu FC and Gasogi United and they are now in the custody of RIB.”
“Investigations will continue as we prepare their dossier to be submitted to the prosecutors, while we continue to search for others who were involved in this crime.”
Under Rwanda’s Penal Code, public insults carry a penalty of two to six months in jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $3000.
Anyone found guilty of discrimination can be jailed for five to seven years.
Mukansanga was among three women on the list of 36 referees selected by FIFA to referee in the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
It was the first time women had been called up for the men’s event, though Mukansanga did not end up officiating a match.
The 34-year-old made history last year by becoming the first woman to referee at the Africa Cup of Nations. She also officiated at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
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