Rugby: MPs offer to mediate Kenya Sevens, Brand Kenya dispute

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, June 24th 2018 at 00:11 GMT +3 | Rugby
Head Coach Kenya Sevens Squad Innocent Simiyu during the naming of the Kenya Sevens squad for the Wellington and Sydney Sevens at Kenya Rugby Football Union on Wednesday, Jan 18 2017. [PHOTO: PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

MPs to mediate Shujaa, Brand Kenya dispute

The Kenya Sevens and Brand Kenya’s Paris fiasco has taken a new twist with the National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism offering to mediate on the sponsorship impasse and the unrest in the national rugby team’s camp.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala canceled Brand Kenya’s Sh2Om sponsorship deal with Kenya Rugby Union citing breach of contract after the Shujaa playing unit had blanked out sponsor’s branding over pay dispute during the Paris Sevens a fortnight ago.

The incident led to the sacking of head coach Innocent Simiyu after he took responsibility of what happened in France. But the decision didn’t go well with the players as they boycotted training on Thursday, 29 days to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, USA (July 20-22).

The recent happenings have left House team committee chairman and Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka a disappointed man, vowing to engage all relevant stakeholders and resolve the issue.

“The Departmental Committee on Sports, Culture & Tourism which I chair, is equally deeply concerned at the turn of events just after the team has achieved the best score ever in any Seven Series events,” read part of the statement signed by Munyaka.

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“Achieving 104 points after the Paris Series was no mean feat. As the first  National Assembly Committee ever since independence to directly oversight Sports, I want to assure Kenyans, that we are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter, in a way that does not affect the team.” [Rodgers Eshitemi]