Netizen 24 KEN: Broke KRU to end players' contracts

Posted by On 9:28 PM

Broke KRU to end players' contracts

In Summary

  • Anxiety ahead of Wednesday’s naming of team for IRB series.
  • KRU and SportPesa signed a five-year partnership deal worth Sh607 million towards the end of 2016.
  • The deal enabled “Shujaa” â€" the national sevens team â€" the 15s team and women’s team, the “Lionesses”, benefit from the sponsorship.
  • “Shujaa” drew Sh60 million annually from the package with Sh60 million being shared among 15s, women’s team and the juniors.
  • SportPesa said they were forced to withdraw all funding for sports after they lost an appeal in a case they sought to stop the government from imposing a 35 per cent tax on betting revenues.
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By AYUMBA AYODI
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Anxiety has gripped the Kenya nati onal sevens rugby team camp after the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) indicated it would terminate all contracts of players and technical bench officials.

KRU chairman Richard Omwela said they have been forced to shelve the salaries and other payments from this month since there are no funds to pay them after their main sponsor, betting company SportPesa, withdrew.

Omwela said that they are still waiting for a communication from the government after the sports ministry indicated it could move in to support the union following SportPesa’s decision promoted by increased taxation on gaming.

The development comes as head coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu prepares to name his squad for the third and fourth legs of the IRB World Sevens Series in Sydney, Australia, and Hamilton, New Zealand, Wednesday morning. The Sydney Sevens is scheduled for January 26 to 28 and will be followed by the Hamilton leg on February 3 and 4.

“The players and the team management will have to understand this one. We have held a session with the team management today to explain the situation. “We had already sent an invoice to SportPeasa for the months of January to April, but things have changed after SportPesa withdrew (sponsorship),” said Omwela, who described it as a “catch-22” situation.

“We signed the contracts since we had money from our sponsors, but we can’t honour them if the cash flow has been stopped,” he argued. Omwela said that they have never been in such hard state, adding that they need Sh3 million a month to take care of the team’s salaries among other expenses.

Omwela said that nothing has been forthcoming from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts who had promised to contact to them “in due course.”

KRU and SportPesa signed a five-year partnership deal worth Sh607 million towards the end of 2016.

The deal enabled “Shujaa” â€" the national sevens team â€" the 15s team and women’s team, the â €œLionesses”, benefit from the sponsorship.

“Shujaa” drew Sh60 million annually from the package with Sh60 million being shared among 15s, women’s team and the juniors.

SportPesa said they were forced to withdraw all funding for sports after they lost an appeal in a case they sought to stop the government from imposing a 35 per cent tax on betting revenues.


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