African beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers to be replayed after Kenya appeal

    The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) has successfully appealed for the repeat of the second round of the African Beach Volleyball Olympics qualifiers after the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Sunday announced annulment of the last year’s results.

    The second round of the qualifications for the African Volleyball Confederation CAVB Beach Continental Cup for group C took place in March last year in Abuja, Nigeria but Kenya, DRC Congo and Cape Verde- all withdrew due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving Nigeria and Zambia to qualify automatically for the final round of the qualifiers.

    Confirming the latest development, KVF boss Waithaka Kioni execuded confidence the world volleyball governing body will also approve the repeat of the men’s event which Kenya also skipped after the government imposed international travel ban to curb the spread of Covid-19.

    “Following our appeal for the repeat of second round BVB Olympic qualifiers due to the Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed on some teams which included Kenyan teams, I am pleased to report that the FIVB has approved a repeat of the women BVB qualifiers.

    “We remain hopeful that a repeat of the men’s event will also be granted,” read part of the Kioni’s statement.

    The women qualification event has been rescheduled to take place in Nigeria in either March or April.

    On his part, the women beach volleyball head coach Sammy Mulinge celebrated the decision saying the FIVB has provided a fair playing field for all teams to pursue an Olympic place.

    “Justice has finally been served and we’re very happy though it was not our fault not to participate. We’ll meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to lay out the training plans because we should start the preparations in earnest. We only have a month or so to prepare also putting in mind we’ve not been involved in any action since March last year,” Mulinge told Citizen Digital.

    The tactician is however facing a big challenge over the availability of the full squad as his key players will also be involved in the African Club Championships to be held in March and April.

    “I urge the FIVB to quickly release the actual dates for the repeat of the second round because we also have Club Championships coming up and my players will also represent their respective teams. That’s the biggest challenge we’re likely to face but we will definitely get the way forward,” he added.

    The Olympic slot will be grabbed by the eventual winners of the CAVB Beach Continental Cup under the existing qualification criteria.