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Hockey, rugby unions decry lack of funding

Tuesday August 6 2019

Kenya's Sheilla Chajira cuts through the Papua New Guinea defence on day one of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on April 4, 2019. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |

Kenya's Sheilla Chajira cuts through the Papua New Guinea defence on day one of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on April 4, 2019. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |  

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) and the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) officials have cried foul over lack of support from the government as they prepare teams for international events.

KHU is not sure whether national men and women’s teams will travel to Johannesburg for the African qualifiers for 2020 Tokyo Olympics that start Monday next week owing to lack of adequate funds.

Kenya Lionesses’ participation at the Africa qualifying tournament for Rugby World Cup also hangs in the balance with no reprieve in sight from the government that failed to support the Kenya Simbas in their qualifying campaign for 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the National Under-20 rugby team for the World Junior Trophy.

Kenya Lionesses are scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday for the qualifier that starts on Friday but a source privy to the goings on at KRU, Monday said the union is struggling to raise funds to enable the team travel. KRU had requested the government for Sh20 million to facilitate preparations and participation in the World Cup qualifier.

Back to hockey, despite presenting a budget of Sh40 million to the Ministry of Sports in April this year, KHU president Nahashon Randiek said nothing has been forthcoming.

Randik said the budget was later slashed to Sh26 million but nothing has been forthcoming adding that what corked up everything was when the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) lumped together their budget with teams that are heading for the African Games in Casablanca, Morocco.

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“We were very specific in our letter to KNSC and they knew very well that our Olympic qualifiers won’t take place during the Africa Games,” said a disappointed Randiek. “We don’t know why they did that and to make the matter worse they have taken ages to separate the budgets and make amendments.”

The source at KRU indicated that they had presented a budget of Sh190 million to the ministry covering the Kenya Simbas World Cup qualifiers last year, National Under-20 rugby team Chipu and Kenya Lionesses World Cup qualifiers.

“They only gave us Sh3 million for allowances for Chipu and nothing else, having also left us to cater for Kenya Simbas and Kenya Lionesses,” said the source who took issue with the sports ministry pumping money into Harambee Stars and leaving out other national teams. “You cannot continue to ignore the role of money in performance,” added the source.

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