Friday, 2 November 2007

Kenyan Women’s Volleyball agony

As if to make a replica of other sports associations, the Kenya Volleyball Federation are at it again. For those who love watching our lady spike their opposition, hold your horses just for awhile. The team is meant to represent Africa in the Women’s Volleyball World Cup in Japan starting this weekend. But as usual the drama has to start even before serving any ball;
First the team’s selection in Nairobi last week was left to the federation which chopped out the longest playing volleyball in Kenya currently Dorcas Nandasaba and dealing the team a panic attack only for them to reinstate her after appeals from Kenyans across the board. They did include her name in the squad and even book her on the flight, but whether she will play in Japan or not, is not yet confirmed since the list had already been sent before they rescinded their decision.
Some reason as to why she had axed was that she had incited the players to boycott playing due to non-payment of their allowances and a cash reward of KShs. 1million promised by the President after a successful Africa qualifying championship held in Nairobi in August. She may have been justified trying to rally the players since it’s their right and the officials have developed a penchant of having to wait till players boycott or strike to act on the most trivial and obvious obligations in the game.

Secondly, reports from Japan indicate the team had failed the quality test (this is undertaken to determine the team’s peripheral preparations such as team kit, team preparedness and also weigh-in among a couple of rigorous tests). They were asked to re-kit the team since the uniforms they had were sub-standard. I can’t believe this! An official from the Kenyan contingent even had the audacity to claim that why they had such a uniform was because the ladies have adopted to doing what football players do when a game is over, exchange shirts. That’s why they didn’t have their best kits. My goodness what nonsense!
I’m made to believe that the team is kitted by Nike as are most Kenyan national teams’ performing national duty in international assignments. Unless these guys got their kit from illegitimate sources, then there is no way they can have such an excuse. OK, I’ll admit some official could have sneaked some fake (probably from China or from such place) uniform and is now trying to save face.
Another issue that may even kill the team further is the fixtures. In the first 2 games, they face Cuba and Brazil. Given that they have never won any match (set even) in the World Cup in previous postings, then they’ll need a miracle to rise to the occasion.
With the slapdash preparations I’ll be holding a rosary for their redemption at every game. Not even friendlies with top teams in Africa could be organized….the usual story, lack of these funds and that logistic. As it is, the first 3 teams automatically qualify for the Olympic games to be held in Beijing, China next year.
The ladies are at their lowest ebb and any miracle here would serve the country well. Any consultants? (Wherefore art thou Kalonzo Musyoka-ye of the Park and crowd miracles?)

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