Simiyu storm stops Brand Kenya, Shujaa hearing


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

In Summary

  • A sport tribunal hearing between Brand Kenya and Kenya Sevens team came to a premature ending after head coach Innocent Simiyu disrupted the gathering in dramatic fashion
  • The Shujaa boss stormed the hearing and demanded that his players should not be held answerable for the sponsorship protest they staged at the Paris Sevens

A sport tribunal hearing between Brand Kenya and Kenya Sevens team came to a premature ending after head coach Innocent Simiyu disrupted the gathering in dramatic fashion.

The Shujaa boss stormed the hearing and demanded that his players should not be held answerable for the sponsorship protest they staged at the Paris Sevens.

During what was the final leg of the 2018 HSBC Series tour at the French capital, Shujaa blanked out the ‘Make It Kenya’ sponsorship logo on their jerseys using duct tape in protest over unpaid allowances.

The act forced the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and Brand Kenya into releasing a series of statements as they sought to pour cold water over the issue that sparked huge online uproar.

The State Corporation Brand Kenya had become the official shirt sponsor of Kenya Seven in a deal that was going to take an year and cater for different needs by the Shujaa.

It was seen as a much needed financial boost to the embattled Kenya Rugby Union who had been operating without a major sponsor since the exit of a betting company late last year.

Under the partnership, Shujaa was to become a global ambassadors for Kenya with the slogan on the shirts reading, “Make It Kenya”.

The sponsorship had an element of cash to be paid directly to the players for direct promotion of Brand Kenya with Brand Kenya already submitting Ksh4 million as part payment of the sponsorship as per the contract.

This had gone into funding of 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.

However KRU on their side admitted owning the players Ksh 2.5m which was to be paid when the players arrived from France together with additional installments or money from other sources by KRU.

Kenya Rugby Chairman Richard Omwela had urged the government to chip in where necessary or the national teams risk not participating in the global events due to financial constraints.

The union has since turned to the government with a heartfelt plea for financial assistance made urgent by looming crucial international assignments for Kenya Sevens, Kenya Simbas and Kenya Lionesses.

The Kenya Sevens team is set to kick start their Sevens Rugby World Cup after a 10 day break but that remains uncertain after the unfolding today with the sports tribunal set to give its verdict tomorrow on the way forward with the future of the centurion Coach in doubt.

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Story By Benson Mbare
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