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Broke Kenya Police withdraw from Africa championships

Thursday October 10 2019

Kenya Police's Brian Saina (right) dribbles past Western Jaguars' Conrad Wafula during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on October 6, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya Police's Brian Saina (right) dribbles past Western Jaguars' Conrad Wafula during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on October 6, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AGNES MAKHANDIA
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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For the second straight year, Kenya Police men’s hockey team have withdrawn from the Africa Cup of Club Championship set for December 1-10 in Ismailia, Egypt due to lack of finances.

At the same time, their local rivals and league champions Butali Sugar Warriors' participation in the annual event hangs in the balance as they await feedback from their sponsors.

Kenya Hockey Union secretary Wycliffe Ongori said only Telkom had confirmed participation in the event while Police had formally withdrawn from the annual competition.

“Strathmore University ladies team and Butali have not communicated. We just have to wait and see,” said Ongori.

This is not the first time the two teams - Police and Butali - have withdrawn their participation in the event, in 2018, both clubs gave the event that was held in Nigeria a wide berth citing financial constraints.

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Butali coach Dennis Owaka said their sponsor is not in the country and that explains why they can’t confirm whether they will compete in the event or not.

“We are hoping to have the feedback by weekend. Our sponsor is out of the country but we remain optimistic that the feedback will be positive. The team is at a better place if the current formbook in the league is anything to go by and I believe if we are given the chance we will excel at the continental stage,” Owaka said.

Butali, who remain unbeaten after 13 matches, top the league standings with 33 points.

The last time Police and Butali featured in event was in 2017 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi where they second and third respectively.

Butali overwhelmed Ghana Police 3-0 to take bronze, while the law enforcers succumbed to Eastern Company of Egypt 3-2 in penalty shootouts after the teams played to a barren draw in regulation time in the final.

Telkom, the 10-time continental champions, will be seeking to retain the title they won in Nigeria last year where they saw off Ghana Revenue Authority 2-0 in the final.

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