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Kenya disqualified to host int’l volleyball events over stringent rules

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 president.

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 Championship.

“The confederation 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.



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