Kenyan official says not hosting sitting volleyball event will affect game

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-08 16:51:36|Editor: Song Lifang
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By Ben Ochieng'

NAIROBI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- A top official from the Kenya Sitting Volleyball Federation (KSVF) said Monday the country's opting out of hosting the World Cup continental qualifiers will affect the growth of the game in the country.

Federation chairman Polycarp Mboya said that by withdrawing hosting rights for the Africa Sitting Volleyball Championships that were scheduled for May 15-22, the government has killed the game in one fell swoop.

"The players are demoralized after putting in months of preparation for the event. We have never taken part at the World Cup despite Kenya having qualified for the event twice in the past," Mboya said in Nairobi.

"It was our hope that the government would facilitate our participation because we stood a high chance of qualifying on home soil as we are the number two country in Africa after Egypt," Mboya said, adding that Kenya will not be allowed to take part in the event if it is relocated elsewhere.

He said team members are dejected because it appears as though they are being discriminated against in favor of able-bodied sportspeople.

The government declined to finance the event, citing financial constraints after Kenya won bids to host the forthcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Under-18 Championships in July and the Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) early next year.

The federation required 300,000 U.S. dollars to host the continental showpiece, which was to act as qualifier for the World Cup scheduled for Netherlands in July 2018.

The Director of Administration at the Ministry of Sports Harun Komen wrote to the KSVF last week stating that the ministry was overwhelmed with financial requests and was presently not in a position to hold other world events.

The event would have been used to select the men's and women's teams to participate at the world games. Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Sudan, Lesotho, Namibia, Congo, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Burundi, Egypt and Kenya had confirmed their participation.

Kenya had already selected its 24-member team in each category, which was to be whittled down to 12 players each.

Mboya said the Africa Sitting Volleyball Federation is ready to accord Kenya another month for preparations should the authorities change their minds.