NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will no longer host international
volleyball competitions owing to lack of standard event venues,
Waithaka Kioni, the President of Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF),
said on Sunday.
Kioni said that the
turn of events was occasioned by new requirements by the
Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) that pushed the
threshold of teams participating in continental and global
events from 12 teams to 24 teams.
“According to FIVB
guidelines, a tournament of more than 12 teams can only be held
in two venues, yet we have only one venue of international
standards,” Kioni told Xinhua on the sidelines of the
federation’s national elections in which he retained his seat as
Kenya is a
continental powerhouse in volleyball and has in the past hosted
several club championships in Nairobi at only one venue, and the
latest developments are a blow to the East Africa nation
especially in light of another move by FIVB to halt purchasing
air tickets for teams during international competitions.
“This might be the
end of Kenya taking part in global tourneys unless the
government builds a new international standard venue and provide
funding to volleyball,” Kioni lamented.
He said in the past
Kenya took advantage of playing at home to cut overhead costs
whenever the country hosted the annual Africa Women Volleyball
of African Volleyball trusted us with their competitions because
of our organizational ability and now we will be required to pay
not less than 90,000 U.S. dollars for air travel to compete in
events outside Kenya,” Kioni remarked.
Charles Nyaberi, KVF
First Vice-President, said that Kenya does not have to build a
magnificent state-of-the-art venue, but a decent structure that
meets international standards.
“I have been to
several such venues and they are simple, decent gymnasia of
acceptable levels. It is unfortunate that Kenya has only one
recognized venue yet countries like Cameroon and Congo have up
to six standard facilities capable of hosting international
competitions,” Nyaberi noted.