Wrangles in the Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) are threatening to deny the country a chance to select a strong team to compete in the World Championships and the African Games.
The simmering row between a faction led by BAK chairman John Kameta and another led by his deputy Albert Matito has boiled over, with each group coming up with its own plans for the team selection tournament, the Kenya Open Boxing Championship.
At the heart of the dispute is failure by the officials to agree on a common date and venue for the championship. Whereas Matito’s faction has insisted on staging the bouts in Nairobi in line with a calendar of events agreed upon in a meeting convened by former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa last November, Kameta’s faction has insisted on staging the tournament in Mombasa.
In the past two days, Matito’s faction held the tournament at Charter Hall in Nairobi while Kameta’s faction staged a parallel one in Mombasa.
Among others, wrangles threw last year’s national league into disarray as both factions staged parallel competitions. The 2017 national league competition also ended in controversy, with the Kenya Police boxing team being stripped of the title. Furthermore, a consultative committee comprising officials from the two factions is yet to lay down modalities for BAK elections.
The current wrangles leave Kenya’s participation in the World Championships and Africa Games planned for later this year in limbo. Its participation in the 2020 Olympic Games is also threatened because the African Games are likely to be used as a qualifier tournament for the Olympics. These issues need urgent resolution.