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Broke KRU asks Govt to honor promises

According to the Union, they have only received Sh31mn of the Sh124mn budget approved by the government in the beginning of the year and with the Kenya Simbas preparing for World Cup qualifiers and Shujaa warming up for the World Cup.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17- The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) says it might not prepare national teams as well as they would have wished ahead of their assignments if the Ministry of Sports doesn’t remit cash that was approved at the beginning of the year.

According to the Union, they have only received Sh31mn of the Sh124mn budget approved by the government in the beginning of the year and with the Kenya Simbas preparing for World Cup qualifiers and Shujaa warming up for the World Cup.

“Since they gave in the first installment, they have made promises which have not been honored and based on the negotiations and agreements KRU made with bringing in coaches and paying players their allowances, we find ourselves in a tricky situation of honoring those obligations,” KRU’s Director of National Teams Ray Odendo has said.

The Union is planning a week-long high performance training camp for the Simbas in South Africa ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and the Union says this might not come into fruition if they do not receive money from the ministry.

KRU Secretary Oduor Gangla with Levy Labeeb. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“We are keen to go to the World Cup and we have tried to put together all resources available. We believe we have the perfect team and perfect opportunity to qualify but due to this financial issue we are in a tricky situation,” Odendo further noted.

Union Secretary Oduor Gangla has put the government on the spot especially with the promise that the 35pc tax law slapped on betting companies would go into a Sports fund which will in turn be used to sponsor federations.

It is this law that forced their headline partner SportPesa to pull out in January.

“The government has an obligation to fund sports. When this team goes out to play, they carry the colors of this country. They have brought pride to this country but we can’t continue working in an environment where there’s no certainty on funding,” Gangla noted.

He added; “We have accounted for the 31mn we received and we are yet to receive any of the remaining amount despite constant attempts to ask from the ministry. These programs are not cheap and we need the government to do their bit so that these programs run.”

Kenya Rugby Union boss Richard Omwela confirmed they held talks with retired New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The Union now says it is pushing the government to get the remainder of the money which was supposed to run between January and March before the second quota which was meant to suatain the Union between April and June.

The Kenya Simbas are already in residential camp in Nanyuki and will be headed to Kampala, Uganda for the Elgon Cup next Saturday before possibly travelling to South Africa for the high performance camp.

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While in South Africa, they are scheduled to play two training matches including one against Super Rugby side Western Province.

Meanwhile, respective coaches for the Simbas, Lionesses and Shujaa will name their final squads next week ahead of the respective tournaments.

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