Following the suspension of the Rwandan national team and federation from the ongoing African Nations Volleyball Championship, the Ministry of Sports has announced that it will take over the administration and organization of the competition.
Rwanda was scheduled to play Senegal in the final of the women’s competition on September 16, but the match was canceled after Nigeria submitted a complaint contesting the nationality of players who played for the Rwandan national team.
The accusation resulted in a three-day standoff in which the International Federation for Volleyball (FIVB) insisted on Rwanda’s exclusion from the competition and the forfeiture of prior games for breaking rules, despite Rwanda’s protests.
Rwanda insisted on following proper processes when it came to fielding players whose nationality was questioned. The African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) supported suspending the players in the issue and allowed Rwanda to compete in the tournament.
According to media reports, Rwanda had opposed the decision following the stalemate, arguing that if the host country was eliminated, Rwanda would no longer host the continental tournament.
“Following an allegation against the Rwanda Volleyball Federation, the Ministry of Sports has decided to take over the administration of the ongoing African Volleyball Championship, which will be finished without the participation of Rwanda’s team,” reads a statement from the ministry.
“The Ministry of Sports has launched an inquiry into the charges made by the International Volleyball Federation, and the findings will be released in due course,” MINISPORT said in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Rwanda has previously stated that if the host country was unfairly ousted from the competition, the FIVB and CAVB officials, as well as teams and referees, would be asked to leave the country within 24 hours.
Rwanda felt wronged by the suspension, but the FIVB insisted that it could not make a judgment that would go against the game’s rules.
According to article 2.4.1 of the FIVB Sports Regulations, a player’s federation of origin is the first to provide a national license or otherwise register the player within its federation, which was not done in the case of the players in question.
According to the rule, a player for the national team must have registered to play for a club, team, school, or any other volleyball entity that is directly or indirectly affiliated with the Federation. This was not the case for the aforementioned Rwandan players.
Article 12.2 of the FIVB Disciplinary Regulations applies if a national team fields an ineligible player. For breaking this rule, both the players and the federation have been suspended.