Kenya 7s players forced to set up fundraiser after months without pay

Kenya 7s Willy Ambaka launches an attack against the Australia defense on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on 30 July, 2022 in Coventry, England. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby
Kenya 7s Willy Ambaka launches an attack against the Australia defense on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on 30 July, 2022 in Coventry, England. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Kenya 7s players have been forced to turn to social media to request the fans and wellwishers to raise funds to cater for the personal bills.

The Shujaa players have not been paid for three months and according to tweets shared by Willy Ambaka, they have exhausted their saving and have been forced to speak out.

Ambaka says funds can be channeled to the squad via M-PESA Paybill number : 891300, Account Number: 60365.

Fans can also use M-changa link to contribute funds to the team.

” Greeting to the Kenya 7s Family! As some of you may have heard we are now going on our third month without pay. Our lives and those of our loved ones have been greatly strained, even in our persistent effort to give you the desired outcomes on the pitch,” he posted

“As we continue to train hard, we have had to deal with the daily life challenges of bills by digging through our savings and the efforts of a few local and international well wishers.”

“Our desperate situation has now forced us to turn to you, our global community to help us in raising funds. The money raised will be split among the boys to help settle some of our pending bills – We need your assistance.”

“To make your contribution, kindly click on the link below to access the Kenya 7s M-Changa fund raiser or send your contribution to: *M-PESA Paybill no: 891300* *Account Number: 60365* Support Kenya 7s | M-Changa”

His calls were echoed by Billy Odhiambo and former Kenya 7s star Lavin Asego.

“Twitter, I’m speaking on behalf of Kenya 7s. I have shared a m-changa link for whoever sees it fit to drop us something for the course.. we are struggling but we have to represent you people at the Dubai and Capetown Legs. #Keepingthefaith,” Odhiambo tweeted

“It’s sad that our beloved sport has come to this. But here we are. Check the link below and see how to support the Kenya 7s boys through this seemingly never ending storm. No amount is too small,” Asego stated .

The fundraiser has so far raised over 149,00.

The Series’ next stop is Dubai where the women’s Series will commence, as part of a combined event with the men on 2-3 December 2022, before both men’s and women’s teams move on to Cape Town on 9-11 December.

The women’s pools for Dubai see the all-conquering reigning World, Commonwealth and Series champions Australia in Pool A alongside the USA, Canada and China. In Pool B reigning Olympic champions New Zealand will face France, Great Britain and Brazil. Pool C sees Olympic bronze medallists Fiji together with Ireland, Spain and newly promoted Japan.

The men’s draw sees Pool A with Australia, South Africa, Great Britain and Kenya. Pool B is Fiji, Argentina, New Zealand and Uruguay. Pool C includes France, Ireland, Spain and Uganda. Pool D is made up of Samoa, USA, Canada and Japan.

About the  2023 World 7s Series

The World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 promises to be the most competitive and compelling to date with more at stake than ever before as the top four ranked men’s and women’s teams will earn Olympic qualification for Paris 2024, while in the men’s Series the number of teams for the 2024 Series will reduce from 16 to 12 to equal the number of women’s teams and align with the Olympic competition structure, meaning fans can expect an intense battle to avoid relegation in the 2023 Series with every match and every point counting towards their final Series ranking.

How will relegation be decided from the men’s Series 2023?

The 15th-ranked core team based on accumulated Series points following the tenth round in Toulouse will be relegated. The teams ranked 12th, 13th and 14th at the end of Toulouse will enter a four-team relegation play-off together with the Challenger Series 2023 winners at the eleventh and final round of the Series in London.

The relegation play-off will be a round-robin format with the top two teams then playing a final. The winner will become the 12th core team in the 2024 Series, while the other three teams will enter their respective Regional Sevens Championships in order to qualify for the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. The Challenger Series will continue to provide a pathway for teams to qualify for the World Rugby Sevens Series.

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