National women’s handball team hopes of qualifying for this year’s All Africa Games in Morocco went up in the smoke after they were disqualified from the event’s qualifier due to poor logistics.
The team, which left for the host nation Uganda last Friday and lost to host 28-24 in their opening tie on Saturday, were scheduled to play their return leg match on Monday but the tie failed to take off as they were yet to pay their participation fee.
The team, under the stewardship of Jack Ochieng, were expected to pay slightly over Sh 1 million to African Handball Confederation (CAHB), covering participation, registration and accommodation fee ahead of event’s kick-off but this never happened.
The team was allowed to play their opening match on Saturday with assurance from CAHB secretary general, Charles Omondi, that they would settle the fee by Monday afternoon but this never came to pass, prompting CAHB to show them the door. Omondi is also the KHF fixtures secretary.
Responding to the latest development, KHF secretary general, Gikaria Nderitu bemoaned the move but admitted there was a delay in the remittance of the fee.
Nderitu, however, revealed that they gave the Ministry of Sports the budget well ahead of time but it took time for ministry to release the funds.
“We were supposed to pay slightly over a million shillings to the CAHB. But the money came in last Friday and by the time we channelled it to the CAHB headquarters in Ivory Coast, the process stalled,” said Gikaria.
He continued: “Remember the next two days banks did not open and therefore the money reflected at the headquarters on Monday. By the time the African body was communicating to the host nation, it was a little bit too late and just like that, the team was disqualified.”
The official said the team will now have to switch focus to the next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers with the hope that the now functioning Sports Fund will release the money in time for easy operation.