The Kenya Rugby Union has mutually parted ways with Kenya Sevens Head Coach Innocent Simiyu effective immediately.
KRU is said to have instigated proceedings against the team for masking off the ‘Make it Kenya’ logo from the front of their jerseys at the Paris 7s and according to sources, Simiyu stormed the on Wednesday to stand for his players, saying they should not be victimized for the action.
He took full responsibility for the display that saw the playing unit blank out sponsor’s branding in Paris Sevens which negatively impacted our country and sponsor’s image.
And now, the board seems to have taken the drastic decision of axing the tactician who is credited for leading the team to their best ever finish in the World Rugby Sevens series where they finished with 104 points.
Earlier on Thursday, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala canceled a Sh20 million sponsorship deal between Brand Kenya and the Kenya Rugby Union.
A furious Balala accused the union of not paying the Kenya Sevens players their allowances during the Paris Sevens earlier this month. As a result, they blocked the sponsors’ logo ‘Make It Kenya’.
Balala observed: “Kenya Tourism Board is using the athletes to promote and market destinations. What they did was very embarrassing. I am not happy about it.”
He went on to say: “How can a Kenyan go to an international activity and cover Brand Kenya? How, even if you have a problem with your organisation?
“That was not Brookside or Tusker, or Safaricom. It was Make It Kenya! That name there is your country’s, your motherland which made you what you are,”the Minister said at a Mombasa Hotel during the Kenya Association of Hotel-keepers and Caterers symposium.