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No end in sight for 7s aces’ pay row

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OMBACHI-AUSTRALIANAIROBI, Kenya, October 30 – The national sevens team players resumed training this week with no end in sight for their pay dispute with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

The squad that went on strike last week following the appointment of South African Paul Treu as the new head coach are still owed three months unpaid salaries and allowances, Capital Sport has established.

Team captain Andrew Amonde said they are still waiting for the Union to communicate to them having promised to solve the matter last week.

“We are still training because our part is to play the rest is for the Union to ensure every thing is run in order as we prepare for the Dubai 7s.

“We downed our tools to alert them about our problems and we are just waiting to see what they will do,” the captain told saying they were yet to sign their contracts.

Despite their misgivings with the administrators, Amonde said the playing unit had welcomed Treu as the man to lead them to their aim of medalling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“The new coach is a performer and experienced, as players we will give him all the support he needs because we want to register good results.

“He has won trophies with South Africa and we want the same to happen to us and with the handwork and determination we have, I am sure rugby in Kenya will rise to greater levels,” he added.

Treu is expected to arrive on Saturday and his astronomical salary and perks is said to have made the playing unit jittery, leading them to press for better terms.

KRU chairman, Mwangi Muthee, while meeting with the players and technical bench, said settling the arrears delayed because title sponsors Kenya Airways had not released their money.

“We don’t have to accumulate debts like we did last season once the money is released by our sponsors we will pay the players.

“I am urging the players to concentrate on building the game of rugby and if there is any grievance we urge them to come to us and discuss the problem instead of downing their tools,” Muthee urged.

Kenya Airways Sponsorships and Promotions Manager, Georgina Ndawa told Capital Sport, the four years partnership worth USD4,716,981.13 (Sh400,000) will be renewed soon.

“We are still partnering with Kenya 7s team, so in due time we will announce the package,” she assured.

The deal is said to have lapsed last season with the last commitment being the sevens World Cup that was held in Moscow, Russia.

On Wednesday, KRU held a stormy Special General Meeting where Muthee announced the resignation of Secretary General, Jack Okoth, before the board unanimously appointed him the new CEO.

The High Court compelled KRU to allow Phillip Jalang’o, who had been suspended in May as the Director, National Teams and Elite Performances to attend and resume his duties.

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