Kenya women's team kicked out of Kasarani

By elvince joshua
Sep 13, 2021
  • KVF Chairman Waithaka Kioni addresses the women's team.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya Women's volleyball team has been kicked out of the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani hostels due to accumulated debt owed by their Federation.

The Sports Stadia Management Board, SSMB was forced to lock out the team following a three year debt of about Ksh.3.6 the Kenya Volleyball Federation,KVF owes them, just a day before they kick of their cup defence of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Waithaka Kioni, the KVF chairman admitted they owe monies dating back to 2009 instead heaped blame on SSMB for allegedly mistreating the team.

"This is a national team and the government must take responsibility of this team which must be treated just like the rest. Its shameful act from SSMB," said Kioni.

Sportsnewsarena.com has reliably learnt that the new changes were implemented to create room for the rugby teams that are expected to camp at Kasarani ahead of the 2013 Safaricom Sevens which kicks off on September 20th.

These are just but a few challenges expected to crop up when Kasarani hosts three different championships; Safari Sevens, Volleyball and Karate championships. The team were forced to shift their residential camp to a nearby hotel, almost 2 km away.

KVF did not factor in the team's transport in their budget forcing them team to walk for over 4 km daily to and from training.

"It is so embarrassing seeing a national team walk to the match venue," lamented Kenya's captain Brackcides Agala.

"We now depend entirely on the chairman's pocket (Kioni) and sponsor (Coca Cola) which gave us drinking water. Before we were using tap water. We don't even have training gear," added the captain.

Kioni said the blame should be directed to the ministry of Sports and Culture which he says failed to honour their pledge to clear the said balance.

"In 2009, the ministry of Sports wrote a commitment letter to SSMB to waive the debt but it seems the directive was never implemented," added Kioni adding the federation requires Ksh. 250,000 for the team's transport.

Senegalese player,Somali oficial stranded at the Airport

Despite all the challenges, Head coach David Lung'aho is still optimistic the team will win the continental trophy.

"My work as the coach is to ensure that the morale of the team remains high despite all the challenges. We're going to fight to win the tournament.”

The problem is not only on Kenyan camp. One of Senegalese player was almost sent back to France when she landed at the airport without a visa forcing the local organizers to come to her rescue after six hours of suffering in the hands of local authorities.

The undisclosed player did not travel together with the rest of the squad opting to fly directly from France where she plies her professional career but she could not pay the 50 Dollars demanded at the airport for the visa fee.

Senegalese players arrived in Nairobi a few hours earlier. And even after the Senegalese delegation raised the visa money, they could not afford taxi fare with Lung’aho stepping in to drive the player to her hotel.

Somali Volleyball Federation President, Mohamed Ali Addow was also held up for hours at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport JKIA before KVF rushed to his rescue.

Addow is in the country to attend Africa Zone Five meeting set to take place alongside tournament but he could not be released by the Airport Authorities when he failed to present his visa.

So far five teams besides the hosts that is Cameroon, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Senegal have confirmed participation after the late withdrawals of Uganda and Botswana.

Tunisia and Algeria have sent fringe sides to Nairobi but Lung’aho still believes the north Africa nations are top challengers.

Algeria sent a completely new team after the previous squad players were suspended on ‘indiscipline’ grounds.

Tunisia too has sent a relatively younger side comprising of mostly under 23 players who will take part in the Youth championship in Mexico in October.