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Why Shujaa are playing in Paris without ‘Make it Kenya’ brand

The Kenya Sevens Rugby team on Saturday blanked out the #MakeItKenya logo on the front of their jerseys during their matches at the Paris Sevens in what Nairobi News understands is a payment dispute between the players, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and team sponsor Brand Kenya.

Kenya lost 24-5 to New Zealand in their opening Pool ‘A’ clash of the IRB World Series before bouncing back to stun series leaders Fiji 22-19 in their second match.

In both matches Shujaa played without the #MakeItKenya branding on their jerseys, despite the recently unveiled multi-million shilling deal between KRU and Brand Kenya.

This development, understandably, caused an uproar on social media.

Nairobi News has been informed that the players opted to blank out the sponsorship logo as a sure way of attracting attention, a tactic that seems to have worked.

This, however, according to several players who spoke off the record, amounts to ‘financial suicide’ as the chances of receiving payments thereafter are bleak.

KRU has been in financial crisis for the past six months, and specifically since the withdrawal of SportPesa as the team’s main sponsor in January.

The Kenya Sevens team, which for the first time ever surpassed the 100 points mark in the series, was meanwhile slated to face Samoa in their final pool match on Saturday at 7:52pm.

The Brand Kenya team was unavailable for comment.