NYERI, Kenya June 12-The Ministry of Sports has launched investigations into the truth behind Kenya Sevens Rugby team playing without the official ‘Make It Kenya’ branding on their jerseys at the final leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Paris 7s last weekend.
Shujaa is said to have resisted on donning the branded ‘Make It Kenya’ jersey over pay dispute with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and the team sponsor, Brand Kenya.
Pursuant to these allegations, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Rashid Achesa, said they have summoned the KRU officials to shed light on matter that caused a huge uproar on social media.
The CS said the issue of payment should not arise as the Ministry had released Sh80 million to the team before leaving the country.
“As far as we are concerned, we have fully funded the rugby team as well as other federations including, Football Kenya and Boxing,” said Echesa.
The CS said this while opening a four-day sports stakeholder’s workshop in Nyeri aimed at improving the sporting sector in the country to a level of making it a major contributor to the economy.
On Saturday, Brand Kenya released a statement concerning the state of the contract between them and KRU/Kenya 7s.
On the statement released minutes before Kenya 7s played Samoa in the last pool match at Paris 7s, Brand Kenya said:
“The board confirms payment of agreed partnership funds to Kenya Rugby Union in accordance with the contract and remains committed to supporting the team that is now the official global ambassadors for the entire country.”
“Kenya Rugby Union is working round the clock to ensure that each player gets paid by Monday.”
A day later on Sunday, Kenya Rugby Union offered undue apologies to Brand Kenya on damages caused by the blackout in Paris as they promise to clear out the mess at hand.
“KRU would like to clarify the issues surrounding the Brand Kenya Sponsorship which has led to the embarrassing situation in Paris. We’d like to begin by thanking Brand Kenya for their support to KRU which is greatly appreciated especially coming at a time when KRU is operating on a shoe string budget with some support from only one other sponsor.”
“The sponsorship had an element of cash to be paid directly to the players for direct promotion of Brand Kenya. Brand Kenya have already submitted 4million as part payment of the sponsorship as per the contract.”
“This has gone into funding more priority needs of the team such as player allowances for the London and Paris legs, Accommodation and Airfare for the extra management carried on the tour and outstanding training allowances.”
“What is due to the players is Sh2.5 million which will be paid as soon as additional installments or money from other sources is received by KRU. The incident is highly regretted and we unreservedly apologize to Brand Kenya for the embarrassment this has caused and are working to sort out the situation in Paris.”
Echesa continued that they had also summoned officials of Football Kenya Federation, with a view of getting to the bottom of bribery allegations facing referee, Aden Marwa who was set to officiate in the forthcoming World Cup tournament in Russia.
The CS warned that action would be taken against Marwa should the allegations be proven to be true. The referee has so far resigned from the officiating lineup.
On doping issues that has continued to taint the image of the country, Echesa said the government was developing a curriculum on good sportsmanship.
He revealed that the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) was working closely with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to develop the curriculum that will among other things, teach good sportsmanship to young sportspersons.
-By John Gathua-