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KBF slams women's team video complains

Tuesday August 13 2019

Kenya national women’s basketball team players (from left) Felmas Adhiambo Koranga, Melisa Akinyi, Clara Rotich, Rose Ouma, Debra Atieno and Seline Okumu arrive at their Nobs Villa Hotel Ntinda in Kampala on June 25, 2019 for the African Games qualifiers. PHOTO | PHILIP ONYANGO |

Kenya national women’s basketball team players (from left) Felmas Adhiambo Koranga, Melisa Akinyi, Clara Rotich, Rose Ouma, Debra Atieno and Seline Okumu arrive at their Nobs Villa Hotel Ntinda in Kampala on June 25, 2019 for the African Games qualifiers. PHOTO | PHILIP ONYANGO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

PHILIP ONYANGO
By PHILIP ONYANGO
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"Win even one game before you can complain," these were the candid words of Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) chairman Paul Otula, who has rubbished claims by the women's national team playing in the Afrobasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal, that they are been discriminated.

A visibly angry Otula told Nation Sport on Monday the players' complains are unfounded and that they are simply looking for scapegoats following defeats in their opening matches against Mozambique and lowly Cape Verde.

The team in a video clip released on social media on Monday, accused the government and KBF of discriminating against them, saying the men's team that finished second in AfroCan championship in Bamako, Mali last month, received better treatment.

The team comprises of Samba Mjomba, Debra Obunga, Georgia Adhiambo, Silalei Shani, Belinda Okoth, Vilma Achieng, Mercy Wanyama, Hilda Indasi, Annrose Mandela and Betty Kananu.

Officials led by coach Ronnie Owino, team manager Maxim Milimu, a referee and a team doctor.

But Otula quickly rubbished the claims saying there was no favouritism.

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"I would like to inform all basketball stakeholders that our women's team underwent similar preparation conditions just like the men. We have so far paid return air tickets for the contingent of 14.

We have paid participation and accommodation fees. Each player has so far received $100 (Sh10,000) just like the men.

The girls should therefore not project but focus on the remaining matches," Otula said in his response on Monday.

On claims that the federation only sent 10 players instead of 12, Otula reminded the players that coaches hardly use more than eight players in a game of basketball.

"Even the men's team travelled with 12 players but only eight played consistently with two of them hardly stepping on the court the entire championships," the chairman said, adding that the back stops with coach Ronnie Owino, who was given a free hand to choose the players he deemed fit for the championships.

"The coach should have pre-empted this and instilled common sense in the players instead of joining bands with them in baseless accusations," Otula said.

KBF Treasurer Peter Orero weighed into the matter saying the federation did the best they could and accused the players of insubordination.

"It cannot be a coincidence that the same thing happened in 2013, when the national women's team went to Maputo, Mozambique with the same coach and a majority of the players on board," Orero said, while warning of drastic actions when the team returns.

Orero dismissed the women commission saying it was a pure creation of the federation and cannot therefore purport to run its affairs of the federation.

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