KRU boss blames Shujaa’s third-place finish in Uruguay on boardroom wrangles

RUGBY KRU boss blames Shujaa’s third-place finish in Uruguay on boardroom wrangles

Joel Omotto 09:00 - 13.03.2024

Kenya Rugby Union chairman Sasha Mutai feels Shujaa would have recorded a better performance in Uruguay had they not bee distracted by the current boardroom wrangles.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Sasha Mutai believes Kenya Sevens would have posted a better result than their third-place finish at the 2024 Challenger Series second leg in Uruguay were it not for the current boardroom wrangles.

Shujaa won bronze in Montevideo after beating Chile 31-12 in the third-place playoff having failed to nick a place in the final following a 21-14 loss to Hong Kong in the cup semi-final.

It was the second loss for Shujaa in Montevideo after losing 17-0 to Georgia at the group stage. Kenya had beaten Portugal 19-12 before the los to Georgia but a 17-14 win past Tonga saw them secure their place in the quarter-final where they silenced Uganda 7-5.

It was a step back for Kevin Wambua’s men who had won the season opener in Dubai for maximum points from five wins and a loss and Mutai feels things would have been different head they headed to Uruguay without distractions.

“It was a long trip of up to 40 hours and when they got the news [about the infighting], they were a bit worried that things were going to go back to the way they used to be,” Mutai told Pulse Sports.

“They were asking the management what is going to happen. Are we going to witness the wrangling of the past? This left them a bit disturbed.

“It is an unfortunate that instead of concentrating on the game, they were focusing on the sideshows.”

Mutai is facing a revolt among some of the union’s members with motions of no confidence in him filed ahead of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 24.

The KRU boss, who was elected on March 29 last year, has dismissed them as ‘cartels’ who are fighting back after he closed the taps but that has not stopped those against him from digging in.

At the centre of his woes is the suspension of KRU secretary general Ray Olendo over allegations of presenting a forged Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) certificate in August last year.

Olendo’s suspension was, however, overturned by the Sports Disputes Tribunal last week after the John Ohaga-led team ruled that it was null and void. Mutai has accused Olendo of being behind the boardroom woes currently disrupting his rein.

Wrangling within the KRU top echelons was largely blamed for the dwindling standards of rugby in Kenya, leading to the relegation of Kenya Sevens, for the first time in 19 years last May.

It remains to be seen how Mutai, who fears the infighting will derail the progress he has made, while scaring off potential sponsors, will handle the emerging issues.