FIVB bails out Kenya

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 03, 2021

The national women’s Volleyball team got a second chance to try their luck on the elusive Olympic ticket after International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) lent financial help.

Kenya had withdrawn from the games citing financial constraints after the government failed to release funds to send the team to the qualifiers.

But the International body who were impressed with Kenya’s performance in recent years came to their rescue by providing air tickets to the Olympics qualifiers to be held in Puerto Rico in May. The gesture came after the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) sought FIVB's assistance.

Malkia Strikers did not qualify for the Olympics last month after losing to Egypt in the semifinal of the continental qualifiers which Cameroon won.

“Last year your Women’s team was able to win for the first time in history the WGP Group 3. Which shows that your Federation is developing the sport.” read part of the communique from FIVB to KVF.

The new arrangement means that Kenya will have one trip for both the qualifiers and the Grand Prix between May 17 and June 5. "We discussed with our travel agency and we can prepare a combined air ticket for WWOQ and Grand Prix. Your team would first travel to Puerto Rico, then they will continue afterwards to Argentina for the World Grand Prix (WGP) preliminary round."

KVF will only be required to foot the bill accrued during a stopover between Puerto Rico and Argentina which will host the first leg of the World Grand Prix, Group 2 preliminary round.

Malkia Strikers will first go to the qualifiers in Puerto Rico between May 17-25 before connecting to Argentina for the Grand Prix. This means that Kenya will now have to look for Sh180, 000 only to carter for their connection expenses for the 18 member delegation consisting of 12 players and six officials.

“Your national federation) should only cover the difference in price of the ticket (for making the stop in Puerto Rico) which is CHF1000 per person (about Sh100,ooo). We understand your point and the issue of the financial situation, which causes you to withdraw from this event. We will ask the NF Argentina to host your team for a training camp (in Argentina) in the week between the WWQOT and the start of the WGP,” added the communique.

The arrival day in Argentina is scheduled for end of May. FIVB is covering the air tickets for the team for the World Grand Prix. Kenya will play the World Grand Prix Group 2 in Tucuman Argentina between June 3 and 5.

KVF chairman Waithaka Kioni who sought help from Switzerland head office said the development was a blessing for Kenyan volleyball but added it was embarrassing to have gone that route, “I am personally glad that FIVB have decided to bail us out with air ticket because the qualifiers and the Grand Prix is only two weeks away,” Kioni said.

“It’s now upon us to look for the a few amount to enable us honor the qualifiers. However it’s very embarrassing that we had to look for assistance somewhere else,” he added.

The Malkia Strikers will face host Puerto Rico, Egypt and Colombia in the qualifiers.