As Paris 7s kicked off on Saturday 9 June, keen rugby followers took note of masked jerseys for the Kenyan team with what had been very conspicous in London: 'Make It Kenya' campaign following a recent tie-down with Brand Kenya.
That was during Kenya's first game against New Zealand. By the time the team was onto the second game against Fiji, the cat was out of the bag - that the blackout was due non payments of monies owed to players.
Brand Kenya revealed to Raga House that they were not to be faulted as they had wired their part to the Kenya Rugby Union who should have in turn paid players what was due to them.
The Union has since owned up to receiving Kshs 4 million as part payment from Brand Kenya, part of which they used to clear allowances for players for the final two legs of the series.
The Union has since offered undue apologies to Brand Kenya on damages caused by the blackout in Paris as they promise to clear out the mess at hand.
Here is a full statement from KRU;
KRU would like to clarify the issues surrounding the Brand Kenya Sponsorship which has led to the embarrassing situation in Paris.
We’d like to begin by thanking Brand Kenya for their support to KRU which is greatly appreciated especially coming at a time when KRU is operating on a shoe string budget with some support from only one other sponsor.
The sponsorship had an element of cash to be paid directly to the players for direct promotion of Brand Kenya. Brand Kenya have already submitted 4M as part payment of the sponsorship as per the contract.
This has gone into funding more priority needs of the team such as player allowances for the London and Paris legs, Accommodation and Airfare for the extra management carried on the tour and outstanding training allowances.
What is due to the players is ksh 2.5m which will be be paid as soon as additional installments or money from other sources is received by KRU.
The incident is highly regretted and we unreservedly apologize to Brand Kenya for the embarrassment this has caused and are working to sort out the situation in Paris.