NAIROBI, Kenya- The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) on Sunday apologised to their partners, Brand Kenya after Shujaa bizarrely players put tape over the ‘Make It Kenya’ insignia to protest non-payment in an embarrassing incident at the season-ending 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series Paris 7s in France.
Shujaa players took the step of blacking out the branding after they failed to get the monies promised to them by the local governing body from the deal with Brand Kenya.
The unusual protest gained the attention of high government officials including the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Nzioka Waita who tweeted the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Heritage would engage the Union to seek a solution to the impasse.
On Sunday afternoon, KRU offered a groveling apology to Brand Kenya and admitted culpability over the shameful affair in a statement posted on their website on Sunday.
“The sponsorship had an element of cash to be paid directly to the players for direct promotion of Brand Kenya. Brand Kenya have already submitted KSh4m as part payment of the sponsorship as per the contract.
“This has gone into funding 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,” the statement read in part.
“What is due to the players is KSh2.5m which will be be paid as soon as additional installments or money from other sources is received by KRU.
“The incident is highly regretted and we unreservedly apologize to Brand Kenya for the embarrassment this has caused and are working to sort out the situation in Paris,” KRU added.
The dramatic saga overshadowed Shujaa performance on the season ending leg of their record breaking season where they beat their previous highest points total of 99 set in the 2012/13 season.
After being relegated to the Challenge Trophy on Saturday, Kenya lost to Argentina 12-19 on Sunday morning to drop to the 13th place semis where they beat Russia 26-12 to book a date with Scotland.