KRU part ways with Shujaa boss Simiyu

Shujaa head coach Innocent 'Namcos' Simiyu. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
(FILE)Shujaa head coach Innocent 'Namcos' Simiyu. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • In an expected turn of events Kenya Rugby Union has this evening terminated the contract of head coach Innocent Simiyu
  • This comes after Simiyu stormed a sport's tribunal hearing between Brand Kenya and KRU claiming no player should be held accountable for what transpired during the Paris Sevens leg in France

The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has taken the drastic measure of terminating Shujaa head coach Innocent Simiyu’s contract, the body confirmed on Thursday evening.

The announcement came just hours after the government cancelled the team’s Brand Kenya sponsorship, capping an eventful week for the KRU.

Simiyu was in the headlines for the wrong reasons on Wednesday after he stormed a sport’s tribunal hearing between Brand Kenya and KRU that sought to mediate on the infamous Paris Sevens protest.

Simiyu had insisted none of his players should be held accountable after the team blocked the ‘Make it Kenya’ logo on their jerseys, an act that ultimately led to the sponsorship withdrawal.

Adding salt to the already wounded Shujaa it was a now show at first day of training for the team preparing for a World Cup tournament after a 10 day rest.

The team which was to assemble today at the Kenya Rugby Union ground’s after a two week break was a no show for the Vancouver and Hong Kong Sevens finalist.

Earlier Tourism Minister Najib Balala had cancelled the 20 million Kenyan Shillings contract with Brand Kenya terming it a disgrace and unpatriotic to mask off their name on a global event.

The 37-year-old former Impala Saracens centre captained Kenya 7’s between 2006 and 2008 before being selected for the Kenya 15s team (Simba) till 2016.

During his time as the head coach, Kenya 7s managed a 12th place finish at the HSBC World Sevens Series with 63 points during the 2016/2017 season.

In the just concluded 2017/18 season, Kenya finished eighth with a record of 104 points, for the first time since it’s formation under the watchful eye of Simiyu.

However this is not the first time KRU has terminated the contracts of current coaches.

Simiyu predecessor was Benjamin Ayimba but before him was another former player Felix ‘Totty’ Ochieng who was in-charge of Kenya 7s for a period of one year.

South African Paul Treu had earlier resigned in December 2014 citing unfavorable working conditions within the Kenya Rugby Union board.

South African Vuyo Zangqa and Graham Bentz(strength and conditioning)both of South African nationalities have a case pending in court, after both sued KRU for wrongful dismissal after a new technical bench headed by Benjamin Ayimba was appointed in September 2015.

In July 2013, former England coach Mike Friday alongside his assistant Chris Brown, both plying their trade with USA 7s, resigned citing interference and unfulfilled promises from Kenya Rugby Union.

In 2017, Kenya 7s strength and conditioning coach English Ian Gibbons resigned just three months into his contract also citing poor relationship with the rugby union.

With the current unfolding only time will tell if the Kenya Sevens team will honour their training assignments and the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco USA.

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Story By Benson Mbare
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