Arsenal have reportedly extended their deal with Rwanda who will continue to sponsor the club’s shirt sleeves.

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

On 23 May 2018, Arsenal announced that they had signed a three-year deal with Visit Rwanda to sponsor the club’s sleeves, but now that the three years have passed there has been no official word, at the time of writing, about a renewal.

I contacted Arsenal at the end of May to try and get some clarification around the status of the deal with Visit Rwanda but I have still had no response. The Daily Mail and others, however, are now reporting that the deal has been extended for a further three years and will see Arsenal receive £10m-a-year.

Even though there has been not yet been an 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, given that the patch appears on the new kit, it was fairly obvious the deal had been renewed.

Arsenal’s silence on the matter isn’t entirely surprising, although I’m sure an announcement will come at some point. 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.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.