Kenya Rugby Union has released a statement following the public outcry by the Kenya 7s players that they haven’t been paid for months.
Kenya 7s players led by Willy Ambaka claimed on Sunday morning that they had not been paid for three months and asked the public to support them.
In response, the Union confirmed that it owed the Kenya 7s players and management, as well as the Kenya Lionesses players, money.
According to Chairman Oduor Gangla’s statement, the Union has had a struggle as its main partners have had a challenge remitting sponsorship monies totaling over KES.14.5Million as of October 2022 due to economic challenges.
The statement read:
The attention of the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has been drawn to the social and mainstream media reports of the welfare of our flagship brand – The Kenya National Sevens Men’s team (Shujaa). As a matter of National interest, the KRU would like to make the following statement to shed light and offer clarifications on key issues surrounding not just Shujaa, but our other key sports assets – Kenya National Fifteens Men’s team (Simbas) and Kenya National Fifteens & Sevens Women team (Lionesses)
On the outset, we would like to acknowledge that the KRU owes the Shujaa program players and management 3 months of salaries as at the end of November 2022. Additionally, KRU acknowledges that we owe the Lionesses 5 months of their training allowances.
As a Union, we have always endeavored to prepare and facilitate our national teams for international assignment in the best way possible, with the limited resources at our disposal, mostly from our key corporate partners, Friends of Simbas, World Rugby and the Ministry of Youth affairs, Sports, and Arts.
KRU has continuously worked to adjust to the new normal post COVID-19, where the Sports Ministry has been a key partner in the return to Rugby process by gladly bridging KRU resource gaps up to and until April 2022. In the months to follow, KRU has had to do with the help of our valuable partners, continued resourcing the National teams in our bid to keep our programs running and giving our talented young men and women a sporting chance. In the intervening period, our key partners have had a challenge of remitting sponsorship funds amounting to over KES.14.5Million as at October 2022 due to economic challenges.
During this period, the KRU has managed to send various national squads to international competitions without the help of the Sports Ministry, which includes but not limited to:
- Shujaa: Africa Qualifiers in Uganda, Sevens World Series of; London 7’s, France 7’s, LA 7’s, and Hong Kong 7’s. We further prepared and facilitated the team for the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Cape Town South Africa in September 2022.
- Simbas: KRU with the help of Friends of Simbas, spent in excess of KES. 85Million this year alone in our quest to qualify for Rugby world cup 2023, which included Currie Cup (March – June 2022, South Africa), Africa Cup – France and Final World Cup Qualification Tournament (Repechage) in Dubai
- Lionesses: KRU has consistently invested in the Lionesses program without a consistent source of funding which has stretched our finances. These programs include; Rugby Africa World Cup & Commonwealth qualifiers in Tunisia, The Challenger Series in Chile (August 2022) in our bid to become a Core rugby nation for the Women’s World Rugby Series. KRU also recently, sent the Lionesses 15’s team to Uganda for Rugby Africa Women’s Pool B campaign in which the team was victorious qualifying for the inaugural Rugby Africa Cup in 2023.
Lastly, KRU has and will continue to take the position to support its activities and National Squads activities and programs in the most prudent and cost effect manner to ensure continuity of the game, and as well as protecting the welfare of our most valuable partner – the player, while demonstrative return on investment for our partners and return on objectives for the tax payer.