‘The days of joy riders are numbered!’ This was the Government’s message as it officially launched the 10th All Africa games Kenyan teams as well as the logo on Monday in Nairobi.
Assistant Sports Minister Kabando wa Kabando said his Ministry together with the Kenya National Sports Council,KNSC who are tasked with preparing the National teams for the quadrennial event would sanction any Federations and team officials found to have had some malpractices in their team selections.
“The government will not allow people to misuse Kenyan teams through unfair or non existent selection processes. We will not tolerate nepotism and favoritism in team selections. We will even consider withdrawing passports of people found to be perpetrating this,” warned Kabando.
The Government is the main sponsor of the games having set aside Ksh. 300m for Kenyan teams preparations and participation in the games. The country will be sending athletes in 20 disciplines to the 10th All African games in Maputo, Mozambique set for 3-18th September.
In the past there have been reports and claims of unfair selection of teams with some officials accused of dropping deserving athletes for their preferred ones who may not have met the set qualifying standards, or even to accommodate their family members.
Sports Secretary Wilson Langat said the Ministry of sports was closely following the team selections and scrutinizing teams lists that had been forwarded for accreditations to ensure only qualified athletes make the teams.
“We want teams to be transparent and open when they’re picking their teams. There already concerns on team selection being raised for about six federations. There will be no chance for those ones hoping to pick their friends and relatives to make the teams. This is a national event and only those who merit deserve to be in team.”
The Ministry will however be walking a tight rope as the Federations may choose to interpret the new directive as Government interference.
“One team, One mission” will be team Kenya’s theme as they look to improve on their last performance in Algeria where they picked 38 medals (13 Gold, 15 Silver and 10 Bronze).