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Rwanda President Paul Kagame says ‘we must not excuse or accept mediocrity’ after Arsenal beaten by Brentford

“Weak and bullied,” was how Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher described Arsenal’s defending when Brentford scored its second aim within the newly promoted crew’s 2-0 victory.

“This is pathetic,” tweeted Arsenal fan Piers Morgan. “We’re being bullied off the park by a crew of gamers who’ve by no means carried out within the Premier League.

“Even by Arteta requirements, a brand new low,” added Morgan referring to the Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta. “I am unable to do that for the subsequent 9 months.”


Carragher’s remark and Morgan’s tweet is perhaps disregarded by Arsenal’s hierarchy as a passing media storm, however the truth that Rwandan President Paul Kagame was moved to tweet 3 times after the Gunners’ defeat is arguably extra embarrassing.

Not least as a result of Arsenal’s jersey had ‘Visit Rwanda’ emblazoned on the sleeves.
The Visit Rwanda website says Arsenal is the group’s sleeve sponsor, whereas French membership Paris Saint-Germain is described as a “premium companion.”

The partnership additionally permits the East African nation to “achieve international publicity by means of branding on matchday LED boards on the Emirates Stadium [Arsenal’s home ground], all of the interview backdrops and a broad vary of different advertising rights,” in keeping with the web site.

“Brentford deserved to win they usually did,” tweeted Kagame, who up to now has described himself as a “dedicated fan” of his “beloved membership Arsenal.”

“The recreation itself apart Arsenal and the followers do not need to sort of get used to this,” continued Kagame, who went on to criticize Arsenal’s switch technique.

“It’s been a wrestle of about decade(s) — ups&downs — extra downs till this level. Can’t now we have a plan that basically works?? One half to have a look at is how we deal out there — gamers we purchase to execute the plan. The contact&go mentality does not carry change.

Brentford's Christian Norgaard, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Arsenal.

Arsenal drift

Under former supervisor Arsene Wenger, Arsenal gained the Premier League title in 1998, 2002, and 2004 and clinched seven FA Cups. Arsenal gained the league and FA Cup Double in 1998 and 2002.

Wenger was Arsenal’s supervisor for 22 years earlier than he stepped down in 2018. He was succeeded by Unai Emery and Arteta, however the membership’s drift has continued.

Arsenal introduced a three-year tourism partnership with the East African nation in May 2018.

“The media has been speculating round £30 million however what I can let you know it is not £30 million ($41.5 million), it is lower than that,” CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, advised CNN on the time.

“Thirty-five million folks (shall be) viewing their (Arsenal’s) shirts each single day,” Akamanzi stated.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame speaks during an interview with international media at the presidency office in Kigali, on May 28, 2021.

When the sponsorship deal was introduced, critics stated the cash ought to have been spent assuaging the persistent poverty within the nation.

“I feel when tens of millions of Rwandans reside on lower than a pound a day ($1.28), that is pretty obscene,” UK Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen advised CNN at the time.

“The public have a proper to understand how our help price range is being spent, and the folks of Rwanda have a proper to understand how their president is spending their cash.”

Arsenal did not reply to CNN’s request for remark — by telephone and electronic mail — on when and whether or not the sponsorship deal had been renewed and Kagame’s criticism of the membership’s switch coverage.

However, the East African website reported the deal had been prolonged till 2023.

Visit Rwanda did not reply to CNN’s request for remark in regards to the partnership deal.

"We had really high hopes and we didn't get the result that we wanted or the performance we wanted," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (left) after his team's 2-0 defeat by Brentford.

‘Blame the house owners’

This is not the primary time Kagame has tweeted about Arsenal.

When Wenger stepped down as supervisor three years in the past, Kagame stated “this could not have been the sort of ending of an period.

“The coach is leaving and membership trophy-less it was lengthy coming! I’m nonetheless a dedicated fan going ahead. Blame the house owners.”

The relationship between Arsenal and Rwanda has additionally raised eyebrows given allegations of systemic human rights abuses within the East African nation

“Football has spent the previous decade being purchased and bought by sovereign states, used to puff, gloss and scour worldwide reputations. What’s one other pleasant despot? wrote the Guardian’s chief sports writer Barney Ronay, who pointed to Human Rights Watch evaluation of Rwanda.

“The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continues to focus on these perceived as a menace to the federal government,” in keeping with Human Rights Watch. “Several high-profile critics have been arrested or threatened and authorities commonly fail to conduct credible investigations into instances of enforced disappearances and suspicious deaths of presidency opponents.”

The Rwandan authorities hasn’t responded to CNN’s request for comment in current reporting relating to assaults in opposition to its critics.

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