Africa-Press – Kenya. Barely a week to the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in France, Kenya Simbas are still looking for Sh10 million to cater for the technical bench.
Rugby Afrique, the sponsors of the qualifiers, will only take care of the 28-man squad and three members of the technical bench including the head coach, team-manager and physio.
Should the Simbas want to carry an analyst, defence coach, forwards coach, or skills coach, they will have to foot the bills from their own pocket.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) had written to the Ministry of Sports, seeking funds but they were told Sports Fund had exhausted the money.
The letter written by the director of sports, Joel Atuti read: “The State Department of Sports which has been facilitating sports federations for international events through the Sports Fund, is not in the position to do so. This is because the Sports department has exhausted its funding allocation for this financial year.”
He added: “This is, therefore, to inform all federations expecting funding that it will not be possible due to budgetary constraints. At the moment, they are requested to seek sponsorship from other organisations,” Atuti concluded.
To that effect, KRU have asked all Kenyans of goodwill to help them attain the target by donating through M-changa on Mpesa Paybill 891300, Account number 56309. The initiative is being led by Dick Evans of Hemmingways.
Team manager, Jimmi Mnene, said despite the challenge, the team remains focused and hard at work ahead of the qualifiers.
“The boys are hard at work in camp training and we are looking forward to the qualifiers despite the challenges we face,” said Mnene.
The Simbas are seeking their first appearance at rugby’s biggest extravaganza. They came close to qualifying for the 2015 edition during the qualifiers held in Madagascar, falling short at the final hurdle to Zimbabwe.
The Simbas dilemma is not unique as it comes after the national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, announced they were unable to travel to Brazil to prepare for the World Championships.