USIU-A to challenge new rule on fielding foreign players

By francis marangu
Apr 17, 2015
  • USIU Flames coach George Mayienga gestures at a past game. USIU are under pressure to comly with a new rule limiting foreign players to three.(Photo:SNA File)

As clubs prepare to comply with the new rule for fielding foreign players in the Kenya Basketball Federation,KBF,league, United States International University- Africa,USIU-A is feeling the heat.

Their men's team has four foreign players while ladies have up to six and most of them are sure starters. It is now mandatory that every club fields a maximum of two foreigners for a game with no limitation on signing.

This weekend, USIU-A Flames will play away against Kisumu Lady Bucks and Western Delight. The new rule was endorsed at the federation’s AGM on April 6 and USIU-A is the hardest hit team in the league.

KBF has already communicated that to all teams in a circular dated April 8 and signed by secretary general Vitalis Gode.

The circular states that “this provision takes place with immediate effect”. The rule is in compliance with Fiba’s internal regulation of 2010 chapter 1 article 28 and Fiba Africa Unified rules of competition 2014- 2018 chapter III article 93.

USIU-A Sports Director Bonfas Salano said the move was ill-timed considering they have already registered players for the new season.

“It is unfortunate that they quoted Fiba rules but Fiba does not impose rules on its members. What they are trying to do is promote a mediocre league since even our neighbours Uganda have many Kenyans playing in their league,” Salano stated.

“You can’t tell me that I should have a good player on the bench then field a weak one just because of complying with a rule. We are going to formally appeal that because it is hard for us to comply.”

Gode confirmed that the federation has not yet received any such appeal from USIU-A. Its not clear whether they can challenge a decision taken at an AGM but Gode said they will handle that when the appeal is lodged.

“Considering the decision was taken by the governing council, I have never heard of that so it will be a new procedure if it happens. For now, I can't say they are ineligible to appeal or they are eligible. They will just put their case then we take it to the next level.”

KPA ready to comply

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the men premier league champions, have three foreign players in Arou Ramadhan, Lwal Athiey and Kooshin Diriye. Head coach Anthony Ojukwu said they will have to comply with the rule.

“We don’t intend to drop any of the three since they are our players.They will all remain in the team and will rotate them in every game since one must sit out as we comply with the rule.”

KPA will play host to Zetech University on Saturday in their second game of the season. They have since lost the services of point guard Joseph Ouma and Ariel Okal who joined Ugandan club StarTimes Falcons.

The biggest encounter for the weekend is a bankers derby between Equity Bank and Co-operative Bank on Sunday at 4pm.

Both teams are coming off a winning weekend and have lost once each. Fred Lugasi, Brian Obimbo, Ian Wachiye and Godfrey Abuya are among players head coach David Maina will rely on while the opposing end has James Mwangi, Allan Ouma, Titus Musembi and Brian Busu.

Ulinzi Warriors will play away to Nakuru Club as Blades confront University of Nairobi Terrorist. Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) who have since lost twice play against Strathmore University as Umoja face Mennonite.

Can Blades shred Wings ?

In women premier, the clash between Eagle Wings and Ulinzi Blades is the main highlight. Rebecca Sarange who is on military duty will be missing for Ulinzi who are chasing for a win in their second game. Coming off a loss to Co-op Bank last weekend, winning this game will be a good turning point for Eagles.

Kenyatta University Oryx will play Co-op Bank while the tie between KPA and Mennonite in Mombasa has been postponed.

Weekend Fixtures: Saturday- KPA vs Zetech University (4pm, Mombasa), Little Prince vs 4-Christ (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), KCA-U vs Don Bosco (10:30am), KU Oryx vs Co-op Bank (12pm), Mennonite vs Umoja (2pm), KAA vs Strathmore University (4pm), Nakuru Club vs Ulinzi Warriors (11am, MHS); Sunday- Trailblazers vs Baraka Xtreme (9am, Nyayo gymnasium), Blazers vs Barclays Bank (10:30am), Eagle Wings vs Ulinzi Blades (12pm), Terror vs Blades (2pm), Co-op Bank vs Equity Bank Men (4pm).