Kenyan Sevens Rugby Affected By Payment Issues

Kenyan Sevens Rugby Affected By Payment Issues

Payment issues affecting the Kenya Sevens team threaten to derail the success and continued growth of the side and the game in general in the East African nation.

According to numerous reports, players in the Kenyan team have not received payment for the last three months, and a recent intervention by the South African management members on behalf of the players in an effort to resolve the situation has not been well received by the Kenyan Rugby Union (KRU).

KRU officials reacted by trying to have assistant coach Vuyo Zangqa and conditioning coach Graham Bentz removed from Kenya without any resolution to the issues that plague the team.

Yet again it seems that internal politics have the potential to cancel out incredible gains in ability and reputation that the Kenyan Sevens team have earned in the international rugby community. It is worth noting that similar issues were to blame for former South African Rugby Sevens coach Paul Treu cutting ties with Kenyan rugby in 2014.

Instead of welcoming the need to fix structures, sort out pay issues and move ahead positively with the Rio Olympics coming up next year, the KRU showed up at team training with one way tickets to South Africa for Zangqa and Bentz, who refuse to leave before the situation is addressed, as they want to focus on the 2016 Olympics.

“They want us out instead of focusing on the real issues. The players haven’t been paid for three months now. The focus has been on us apparently striking but that isn’t the case. We simply are saying that the players need to be paid what is owed to them. We have no means for us to go to training,” conditioning coach Bentz revealed to the The Daily Nation.

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“We’re committed to making this work, but the players can’t be expected to perform if they are worried about how they will provide for their families. Someone can’t just give us air tickets and expect us to leave when we have contracts with the KRU? How do they expect us and the players to train without salaries,” he added.

Zangqa added to Bentz’s statement in the Daily Nation, saying: “We shall stay in Nairobi and continue working. Flying back to South Africa now would be a waste of money. It is virtually impossible for us to travel until our issues have been resolved.”

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