NAIROBI, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho are the latest teams to pull out of the women's volleyball Africa Cup of Nations, which is being hosted in Cairo, Egypt.
As the week-long tournament starts on Tuesday night, the two sides failed to show up by Tuesday morning according to the statement released by Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB).
Earlier, Tunisia, Ghana, Libya, Rwanda, Chad and Nigeria had confirmed their omission, leaving only seven teams confirming their participation, namely hosts Egypt, Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria, Botswana, Kenya and Morocco.
"Egypt has been drawn in Pool A along with Senegal and Morocco, while defending champions Cameroon will take on Kenya, Botswana and Algeria after the draws done on Monday," said CAVB press officer Tarek Al-Adwar.
The top two teams from both pools will advance to the semifinals.
Among the favorites are Kenya, who are the record holders with eight titles under their name, defending champions Cameroon, 2009 winners Algeria as well as hosts Egypt.
Kenya will start their campaign against Cameroon, a team they lost 3-1 back in 2017 in Yaounde. The two sides will also compete at the World Cup to be held in Japan in September.
Kenya's head coach Shaileen Ramdoo believes each team is capable of beating their rivals.
"The pool was predictable. It was good to have Cameroon in the same pool, playing some tough games in the pool is good. We have more matches to play which suites us well. There is no weak team but it is good to be pushed early," Ramdoo
"We had no preference being with Cameroon or Egypt in the same pool. We are destined to meet Egypt in the latter parts of the tournament. We have a mix of different levels of matches and this is a stepping stone for Tokyo Olympics," added Ramdoo.