Morans, Lioness pull out of Dubai 7s due to finances

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) vice chairman Thomas Opiyo at a previous event. Photo/PD/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has cancelled plans to have Kenya Morans and Kenya Lionesses accompany Shujaa team to the Dubai Sevens rugby tournament next week, after the Ministry of Sports failed to wire Sh6 million to the Union.

Lionesses and Morans were to feature in the invitational categories and had planned to name respective squads tomorrow during the Shujaa team naming event by coach Paul Feeney.

Union officials claim they decided to shelve the team’s travelling plans after the Ministry of Sports whose Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary (PS) Peter Kaberia travelled to Monaco, France for the IAAF Athletics Gala at the weekend, failed to approval Sh6 million to facilitate the trip.

Part of the money was to be used to clear Shujaa arrears to avoid another possible stand-off ahead of the tournament set to kick off the HSBC Sevens series from December 5-7.

Release funds

“KRU has made the required applications as stipulated by the Ministry guidelines with various levels of approvals.

We therefore appeal to the Sports Ministry to fast track and release funding to facilitate timely travel arrangements,” KRU vice chairman Thomas Opiyo said at the RFUEA grounds yesterday.

He added: “KRU is in dire situation and there is a real threat that the Lioness might miss the opportunity should the government not intercede and release the already approved finances.

The plan was to initially send all the three teams to Dubai but we are already facing financial challenges especially with a two-month arrears for Shujaa. The invitational events are self-sponsored meaning all respective unions pay for all the costs.”

Kenya rugby fans last month sharply criticised Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed on twitter for sending Kenya Lionesses congratulatory messages despite her ministry neglecting the team prior to a crucial 2020 Olympic qualifying match, which they eventually won and qualified.

 the event as well as two other major rugby continental and world events not supported by the ministry.

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