NAIROBI, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has pulled out of the men's volleyball Africa Games Zone Five qualifiers, citing financial constraints.
Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) vice president Charles Nyaberi confirmed that the three-day tournament which started on Monday, will now have just four teams - hosts Kenya, defending champions Egypt, Rwanda and Burundi.
"Tanzania are out unfortunately. They made a late withdrawal, which even surprised us because we had already entered them in the draw. We have reports indicating they could not secure enough money for the trip, but we will wait for further directions from the Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB)," said Nyaberi.
Tanzania becomes the third team to withdraw from the regional qualifying tournament after Sudan and Ethiopia.
"Tanzania's last minute decision will not water down the level of competition because they were the lowest ranked side. The competition must continue and interestingly, the remaining four teams are the strongest," said David Lung'aho, Kenya's volleyball technical director.
The winners of the five zonal tournaments across the continent will qualify for the eight-team final of the 12th Africa Games to be held from August 19-22 in Rabat, Morocco.
Apart from the zonal winners, CAVB will nominate two highest ranked teams to join the finals.