Rwandan President Paul Kagame says ‘we must neither excuse nor accept mediocrity’ after Arsenal defeat by Brentford


‘Weak and bullied,’ is how Sky Sports expert Jamie Carragher described Arsenal’s defense when Brentford scored his second goal in the newly team’s 2-0 win. promoted.

“It’s pathetic,” tweeted an Arsenal fan Piers Morgan. “We are being hassled out of the park by a team of players who have never played in the Premier League.

“Even by Arteta’s standards a new low,” Morgan added, referring to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “I can’t do this for the next nine months.”

‘To struggle against’

Carragher’s comment and Morgan’s tweet could be swept through Arsenal’s hierarchy as a passing media storm, but the fact that Rwandan President Paul Kagame was made to tweet three times after the Gunners’ defeat is arguably more embarrassing .

Particularly because Arsenal’s jersey bore the inscription “Visit Rwanda” on the sleeves.
The Visit Rwanda website says Arsenal is the organization’s sponsor, while French club Paris Saint-Germain is described as a “premium partner”.

The partnership also enables the East African country to “gain global visibility through branding on match day LED panels at Emirates Stadium. [Arsenal’s home ground], all interview backdrops and a wide range of other marketing rights, ”according to the website.

“Brentford deserved to win and they did it”, Kagame tweeted, who in the past described himself as a “committed fan” of his “beloved club Arsenal”.

“The game itself aside from Arsenal and the fans don’t deserve to get used to it,” continued Kagame, who later criticized Arsenal’s transfer strategy.

“It’s been a struggle of about decade (s) – ups and downs – plus downs up to this point. Can’t we have a plan that really works ?? Part to watch is how we treat in the market – the players we buy to execute the plan The touch & go mentality does not bring any change.

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

Under former manager Arsene Wenger, Arsenal won the Premier League title in 1998, 2002 and 2004 and won seven FA Cups. Arsenal won the FA Cup championship and double in 1998 and 2002.

Wenger was Arsenal’s manager for 22 years before stepping down in 2018. He was replaced by Unai Emery and Arteta, but the club’s drift continued.

Arsenal announced a three-year tourism partnership with the East African country in May 2018.

“The media have speculated about £ 30million, but what I can tell you is not £ 30million ($ 41.5million), it’s less than that,” said to CNN Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board at the time.

“Thirty-five million people (will see) their (Arsenal) shirts every day,” Akamanzi said.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaks during an interview with international media at the presidential office in Kigali, May 28, 2021.
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When the sponsorship deal was announced, critics said the money should have been spent on alleviating chronic poverty in the country.

“I think when millions of Rwandans live on less than a pound a day ($ 1.28) it’s pretty obscene,” British Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told CNN at the time.

“The public has the right to know how our aid budget is spent, and the Rwandan people have the right to know how their president is spending their money.

Arsenal did not respond to CNN’s request for comment – by phone and email – on when and whether the sponsorship deal had been renewed and Kagame’s criticisms of the club’s transfer policy.

However, the East Africa website reported that the deal has been extended until 2023.

Visit Rwanda did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the partnership agreement.

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“Blame the owners”

This isn’t the first time Kagame has tweeted about Arsenal.

When Wenger stepped down as manager three years ago, Kagame said that “this shouldn’t have been kind of the end of an era.

“The coach is leaving and the club’s trophy without a trophy was a long time coming! I’m still a committed fan in the future. Blame the owners.”

Arsenal’s relationship with Rwanda has also raised eyebrows given the allegations of systemic human rights violations in the East African country.

“Football has spent the last decade being bought and sold by sovereign states, used to inflate, polish and scour international reputations. What is another friendly bully? Wrote the Guardian’s chief sports journalist Barney Ronay, who highlighted Human Rights Watch’s assessment of Rwanda.

“The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continues to target those who are perceived as a threat to the government,” Human Rights Watch said. “Several leading critics have been arrested or threatened, and authorities routinely fail to conduct credible investigations into cases of enforced disappearances and suspicious deaths of government opponents.

The Rwandan government did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on recent reports regarding attacks on its critics.

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