On 23 May 2018, Arsenal announced that they had signed a three-year deal with Visit Rwanda to sponsor the club’s sleeves, so will they be renewing that deal now that the three years have passed or have they already?

Leonie Maier 20 Arsenal during the Vitality Womens FA Cup 5th round match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Meadow Park, Borehamwood, England. WFAC - Arsenal and Crystal Palace
Leonie Maier 20 Arsenal during the Vitality Womens FA Cup 5th round match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Meadow Park, Borehamwood, England. WFAC – Arsenal and Crystal Palace

There has been no announcement from Arsenal regarding their sleeve sponsorship deal with Visit Rwanda, perhaps not surprisingly as the media in the UK turn their attentions to ‘Paul Kagame’s brutal actions’ in the country, but given that the patch appears on the new away kit that is already for sale on Arsenal Direct, it would seem like the deal has been renewed.

Arsenal’s silence on the matter isn’t entirely surprising. They have become increasingly secretive around a number of aspects within the club, including sponsorship renewals and player injuries.

Going through Arsenal’s list of official partners and sponsors, I found a number that had clearly been renewed without an announcement.

While clubs scramble around for cash to allow them to continue spending obscene amounts on players and wages despite the pandemic hitting incomes across the globe, there will come a time when fans have to ask themselves what’s more important – that shiny new player or the lives of people subjected to repressive regimes.

This doesn’t just go for Rwanda, Arsenal’s major deal with Emirates stinks of sports washing, but we rarely hear about that because that money comes from a brutal regime the UK media like.

I contacted Arsenal last week to try and get some clarification around the status of the deal with Visit Rwanda but, at the time of writing, I have had no response.