Kenya Prisons Service’ women’s volleyball team has plunged into deep financial trouble at the ongoing Women’s Africa Club Volleyball Championship in Cairo.
Nation Sport understands the team is holed up at the Al-Albilla Hotel in the Egyptian capital over non-payment of bills and, as a result, the facility’s management has elected to confiscate the passports of the entire contingent comprising 12-players, two technical bench members and an administrator, rendering them virtually prisoners.
Worse still, the team’s players and the technical bench are yet to receive their allowances for competing in this tournament.
According to multiple sources, the five-time African champions, who are bankrolled by the Ministry of Interior under the Kenya Prisons Service docket, are struggling to pay bills for meals and accommodation at the hotel with an initial Sh300,000 deposit against the expected Sh1.1 million deemed deemed insufficient.
Meanwhile, the relevant ministry officials are said to either be unwilling or unable to make these payments, further lowering the morale in the team’s camp.
A decision to withdraw the five-time champions the tournament has been mooted, but it’s believed the repercussions are too grave to contemplate.
These include hefty fines by the tournament organizers and other sanctions including a five-year ban.
Efforts to get a comment from both Kenya Prisons Service’s Sports Department head Rose Moturi and Department for Correctional Services Principal Secretary Zainabu Hussein did not beat fruit.
Captained by Kenya international Brackides Agala, Prisons – who last triumphed in this tournament in Madagascar give years ago – failed to make it to the quarter-finals after falling 3-1 to hosts El Shams in their third match on Wednesday in Cairo.
The Kenya Volleyball Federation women volleyball league champions have thus far defeated Uganda’s Nkumba University 3-1 (24-26, 27-25, 25-16, 25-22) and Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC in straight sets of 25-12, 25-13, 25-9 scores. Prisons only loss came at the hands of Algeria’s GSP, 3-1 (25-15, 14-25, 25-23, 25-22), on Tuesday night.
In other results involving Kenyan clubs at the competition, Kenya Pipeline stormed the quarter-finals following an impressive 3-1 (22-25, 25-8, 25-18, 25-12) win over Cameroon’s FAP Wednesday evening.
Pipeline have also defeated Egypt’s Shooting and Rwanda Revenue Authority in straight sets in their other outing.
A new look Kenya Commercial Bank were also dumped out of the competition on Wednesday after losing 3-0 to Tunisia’s Carthage. KCB’s only win in the competition was a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-17) rout of Congo’s DGSP.