Former Kenya Lionesses star blasts KRU over 'ill treatment' of women's national team

Photo Credit: Kenya Lionesses.

RUGBY Former Kenya Lionesses star blasts KRU over 'ill treatment' of women's national team

Joel Omotto 18:07 - 31.03.2024

Former Kenya Lionesses captain Sinaida Aura has slammed Kenya Rugby Union for not taking the women’s national team seriously following an outcry over delayed salaries.

Former Kenya Lionesses captain Sinaida Aura has hit out at Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) over what she terms poor treatment of the women’s national team following a delay in settling their salaries.

The Lionesses are reported to have gone for seven months without pay, something that has put a strain on them, even as they are required to still turn up and do duty for the country.

Their frustration is that they have not heard a word from KRU on how or when their outstanding dues will be settled and are now speaking out through various channels, including Aura, who claims this is something that was going on even when she was playing.

“Joining the national team reignites some sense of hope and achievement in you. It brings some sense of balance. But in Kenya (read rugby), this is short-lived,” Aura said through a social media post.

“Decisions driven by greed, selfishness and lack of vision are crippling the game. More so women.

“When I joined the national team, we’d hear stories about unpaid allowances from our seniors (they were basically telling us to buckle up) but a part of you refuses to and hangs onto the hope of “our time will be better.”

“Truly, how much more disappointing can it get if we are dealing with the same issues we dealt with in 19-opat-opuk.”

With Kenya hoping for a return to the World Series, Aura feels KRU is setting itself up to fail if the same players who have gone for months without pay are the ones to be relied upon.

“Wake up KRU,” she added. “Before you kill a legacy that has taken tons of blood, sweat and tears to build. We should not be rallying and shouting about player allowances. If getting the ladies into the HSBC is your goal then it doesn’t take a toddler to tell you are failing.”

Speaking to Scrummage Africa, KRU vice chairman Moses Ndale acknowledged the salary delay but disputed the period in arrears while saying the union is cash-strapped.

“We acknowledge that there are payments owed to the Lionesses, but the duration is not as reported. It is their right to voice their concerns when payments are delayed, and we understand their frustration,” Ndale told the rugby news site.

“However, we have records indicating that partial payments were made in December. Whenever funds become available, we prioritise settling these payments promptly. We are also actively advocating for government support to alleviate the financial strain on the team.

“Given the absence of sponsors, we strive to manage our finances effectively to ensure the welfare of the Lionesses.

"They are our priority, and it’s always been our commitment to provide them with the support they need. When they participate in tournaments, we rely on government assistance to supplement their financial needs.”

The Lionesses’ next assignment is the third round of the 2024 Challenger Series in in Poland in May.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more news.