International Rugby Players has backed the Kenyan sevens team in their payment row as players in the country face an uncertain future.
The Shujaa are currently embroiled in a row with their Union, who have withheld salaries and commercial payments to players in recent months.
The team coach, Innocent Simiyu, was fired last week but has since been reinstated after the Kenyan Government intervened.
The situation, which led to the players taping up sponsors’ branding on their jerseys at the recent Paris 7s, has raised other major issues including concerns around training facilities and short-term contracts.
We are supporting the Kenya 7s players who have not been paid what’s owed to them for months, as well trying to make a living on temporary contracts.
Players have families and bills to pay. Not good enough anymore!
— InternationalRugbyPlayers (@IntRugbyPlayers) June 28, 2018
International Rugby Players Welfare Manager Isaac Boss said: “This case has again highlighted the difficult situation faced by some tier two countries, who, as well as competing against tier one unions, are also fighting for basic pay and conditions against those who should be supporting them.
“Peace of mind is key to performance. The boys have obligations, personal and family commitments and bills to pay. It’s unrealistic for teams to be competitive if they are worrying about these issues ahead of major international tournaments, like the forthcoming Rugby World Cup 7s.
“The players have only eight month contracts, which adds to the uncertainty. Kenya Rugby Union need to step up and urgently address this whole situation.”
International Rugby Players will be officially contacting the Kenyan Rugby Union to address these concerns and will also raise the issue with World Rugby in due course.
Make sure to show your support for the Kenya Sevens players online, using the hashtag #SupportingShujaa
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