Dutch politicians are up in arms with Arsenal's new sleeve sponsors after the Rwandan development board have parted with a reported €35 million in order to have 'Visit Rwanda' on the Gunner's sleeves for next three years.
Dutch figures are angry about the fact that the country is willing to give Arsenal such a large sum of money, despite the fact the country receives aid from the Netherlands. African newspaper 'The East African' also reports that Rwandese president Paul Kagame is an 'ardent' Arsenal fan.
Speaking to Dutch news outlet VI, politician Joël Voordewind criticised the countries decision advertise with the London club:
I am indignant that a country where we provide solid financial assistance has now become a whopping 30 million euro shirt sponsor of a major English football club.
Isabelle Diks of of political party GroenLinks also voiced her disapproval of the deal:
Of course our development aid does not go to the government of Rwanda and it is good that Rwanda tries to give the economy a boost. But it is disheartening that this kind of spending is being made, while the international community is trying to do something about the terrible poverty in the country.
On the other side of the coin Rwandan development board CEO Clare Akamanzi has welcomed the partnership and Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal's Chief Commercial Officer, has championed the deal, claiming that "the Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world," and that the partnership represents good business for the country:
This is an exciting partnership which will see us support Rwanda’s ambition to build their tourism industry. The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way.