Colombia replaces 'broke' Kenya in Grand Prix

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Apr 19, 2017
  • A change in FIVB policy requiring teams to meet their own expenses has forced Kenya to withdraw from Grand Prix. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya has withdrawn from this year’s Federation of Internationale of Volleyball (FIVB) World Grand Prix set to take place in Peru from July 7- August 8.

Waithaka Kioni, the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) chairman said they decided to pull out of the event because of insufficient funds.

KVF requires over Ksh.20 million to make their third appearance at the event. Kenya who performed poorly in last year's event were given a reprieve to compete in this year's Grand Prix.

Kenya were reinstated to play in Group 2 by FIVB after a second African side, Cameroon were included. 

Kioni said KVF still owes the international body (FIVB) over KSh.8 million in arrears from the previous two events, therefore they had no alternative but pull out the women's team from the world’s most prestigious women’s volleyball competition which brings together 32 teams across the globe.

“Taking part in the event is a costly affair. We don't have that amount to take part in this year’s event. We still have a lot of debts to pay and so we will be incurring more debts if we are to take part in this year’s event," Kioni explained.

Same scenario

Last year Kenya was faced with the same scenario of pulling out of the event after they had won Group 3 of the 2015 World Grand Prix until FIVB opted to pay all the expenses for the team for last year’s event.

KVF require around Ksh.5.5 million for the air tickets and close to Ksh.2 million towards the allowances for the 18 member squad that includes 14 players and four officials.

Until last year, FIVB catered for the participating teams' air tickets, meals and accommodation. They now require teams to cater for these expenses.

Kenya has since been replaced by Colombia who will now join Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, South Korea and Hungary as the new entrants to the elite competition.

In 2015, Kenya made history as the first African country to have won an international trophy when Malkia Strikers lifted the prestigious World Grand Prix – Group 3 in Australia.

Kenya was scheduled to open her Group Two campaign against Peru, Puerto Rico and Czech Republic in the opening leg.