Controversy hits Kenya in Dubai hard pool | News Bharat

Billy Odhiambo © Gallo Images

Kenya Sevens were hoping to cause major upsets at this weekend’s Dubai Sevens, especially after a pay dispute engulfed the African nation ahead of the tournament and looks set to leave some of its stars at home.

Already facing an uphill battle to face the Blitzboks, World Series champions Australia and Great Britain in a tough Group A, some of Kenya’s Sevens stars took to social media this week to asking for donations after not being paid for months.

The recent loss of Kenya Airways sponsorship for the team seems to have had dire results and the players have apparently not been paid for months and do not have enough to cover some of their expenses ahead of the tournament.

Willy Ambaka, the veteran sprinter, warned that this would mean Kenya will not travel with the set of players as they may not have the funds.

Kenya also face another blow, as if they continue their poor run of results, they could be relegated as one of the top teams on the HSBC World Sevens circuit.

“As some of you may have heard, we are now going into our third month without pay,” Ambaka posted on Twitter.

“Our lives and the lives of our loved ones have been very strained, even in our persistent effort to give you the desired results on the field.”

Fellow Kenyan star Billy Odhiambo also took to Twitter.

“We are fighting but we have to represent you in the Dubai and Cape Town legs,” Odhiambo said on the social network.

This comes after coach Damian McGrath was open about the team’s problems after losing every game at the Hong Kong Sevens.

“I knew life wouldn’t be easy here in Kenya, but I had no idea these last few months would be so difficult,” McGrath, who took over the coaching reigns in May, told AFP.

“They are very proud to represent the country, they try hard and yet they can’t always train because they don’t have the money to get here.”

The impact this has on the Kenyan team ahead of their games in Dubai remains to be seen.

Kenya Matches (All times CAT, GMT+2. All matches live on SuperSport)


9.56 Kenya – Australia

13.20 Kenya – South Africa

18.18 Kenya – Great Britain

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