The rolling game by the Sports Ministry

By ronnie evans
Feb 10, 2017
  • The National Roll Ball team members's camp at Kasarani during meal time. (Photo Courtesy)

  • World Roll Ball champions Kenya prepare a meal at their camp in Kasarani. (Photo Courtesy)

  • Some members of the Roll Ball team smoked out ministry officials in Kasarani on Friday. (Photo Courtesy)

The Kenya Roll Ball national teams set to take part in the World Cup slated for February 15-21 in Dhaka, Bangladesh faces a dark cloud of uncertainty on its participation due to mixed directives given by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts over availability of funds.

Earlier this week, the ministry had released a statement claiming that it had no funds available at their disposal to cater for the team’s air tickets and that stirred up retaliation from the Roll Ball camp.

On Friday morning, some members stormed a meeting at Kasarani Stadium after getting wind that some top officials from the ministry were in attendance.

The International Roll Ball Federation (IRBF) had already pledged to cover the expenses for seven players each drawn from the men’s and women’s teams and the bone of contention was the remaining 10 substitute players in the roster.

Haron Komen, who is the Director of Administration at the ministry, gave assurances that that the ministry would cater for the 10 players following the unexpected confrontation by the Roll Ball team.

National women’s coach Jacob Nyaudo said on Friday that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have faced many challenges since we started training. We were told that there was no money by the ministry but after airing our grievances we have seen that they have decided to take action. I am now aware that they have already started processing air tickets for the team,” he told SNA on Friday.

Team denied access to indoor arena

The team has been forced to train in a makeshift area in Kasarani Stadium that has a hard surface since January 9 having been denied access to the more conducive Indoor Arena.

This is an all too familiar scenario that mirrors other national teams in the past most notably the Harambee Starlets teams players in 2015 that were treated to shambolic preparations.

Moreover, they were spotted carrying buckets of water after no service was offered to them and even donned over-sized jerseys at the time meant for the men’s side.

If the current development is seen through by the ministry then the travelling party would be made up of a squad featuring 24 players with 12 drawn from both the men’s and women’s sides.

The contingent would also have four officials along with the federation KRBF president. Both teams are African champions having won their respective titles in the 2016 edition held in Uganda.

The women’s team became world champions the same year at the World Cup held in India while the men’s team coached by Jared Onyango finished fourth.

It remains to be seen whether the ministry will hold their end of the bargain in the coming days to ensure the seemingly successful sides have another shot at the global stage.