Former Kenya Rugby Union vice chairman Sasha Mutai is promising to bring back credibility as well as win confidence of the corporate world should he get elected as union chairman in the March 20 polls.
“It will take a lot of hard work; but what I’m getting from the corporate world is that they need a change and having worked with them before it’ll be my first priority since the current regime is on wrangles with a debt of Ksh 100 million,” explained Mutai.
Mutai lost with a margin of two votes to Richard Omwela two years ago and he believes that the current regime has failed the rugby fraternity owing to its inept leadership.
“I was the vice chairman between 2012-2014 and before that I was the director for Sevens in Kenya between 2006-2010 and we worked hard unlike this union which hasn’t put that kind of effort and that’s why the corporate world, players and fans aren’t happy,” he said.
“If everything was going on well I wouldn’t be running for this office; that’s why have decided to vie having done so two years ago losing by two votes and the same things that happened before then are even worse now.”
If elected, the former Shujaa team manager is confident of luring back sponsors as well as ending the contract wrangles pitting the senior players and the Union’s leadership.
“The finance has to come in and it will be done by bringing back the confidence of our former partners in addition to the new companies who haven’t been in sports before.”
“We’re looking for products that are in line with the brand and right now it can’t be Kenyan rugby because of the wrangles at the moment and when this mess is cleaned up the sponsors will definitely come back,” he enthused.
According to Muita, companies that pump money into sports through sponsorship pay less tax and in return get the best brand visibility.
Shujaa who are currently placed 13th in the 17-team World Series log with 12 points are in the USA to face the hosts, France and Argentina in the fifth round of Las Vegas Sevens this weekend.
Mutai also bemoaned the running of the Safari Sevens which, according to him, was successful during his tenure as vice chairman saying nationwide, championship and varsity clubs no longer benefit from the competition.
“Safari Sevens was money making venture for Kenya Rugby and the last time they made money was in 2013 when I was in office. We gave money to every club in Kenya whether in the Nationwide, Championship or Kenya Cup,”he asserted.
“Right now it’s only the Kenya Cup clubs that get money leaving the Championship and Nationwide clubs who have got most expensive fixtures since they travel around the country and yet they don’t have sponsors. They also get nothing from the union and this has to change.”
Mutai will battle it out with the current KRU secretary Oduor Gangla, board member Ezekiel Owuor and Homeboyz RFC chairman Mike Rabar.