Players who complained in video for being mistreated left out of squad for ‘tarnishing Kenya’s name’
Kenyan players that released videos into the public protesting the state of their welfare while they represented the country at the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal have been snubbed in the latest national team call-ups.
Only two of ten players that participated in the championship made the 22-man squad announced by the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) to hit camp ahead of the upcoming 2021 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket qualifiers.
The eight who were omitted include captain and KPA shooting guard Hilda Indasi with only Georgia Adhiambo Otieno who plays for Ubumwe BC in Rwanda and Mercy Wanyama (AD Cortegada, USA) called up.
The KBF Secretary Seneral Ambrose Kisoi admitted the players were being left out as punishment for ‘failing to apologize’ to the federation and the Government for ‘tarnishing the country’s name’.
“After the video they released in Dakar they were required to write an apology and since our main sponsor is the government it becomes difficult to have people who have offended the sponsor and failed to apologize,” Kisoi said.
The immediate former head coach Ronnie Owino who was with the team in Dakar Senegal refused to comment on the issue but said the composition of the team announced would be different had he still been in charge.
“I know for sure there was a committee that was there to choose the team and know every coach has their preference; the list could be a bit different if I was in the position,” Owino said.
In the one-minute video that the ten ladies, led by Indasi and Spain-based Wanyama who is the younger sibling to Harambee Stars captain Victor released they had a long list of complaints, including the delayed payment of their allowances and the government’s failure to facilitate the full squad to travel among others.
The team was forced to play an international tournament with only 10 players (instead of 12) and one coach (instead of three) while being expected to perform at a high level which left them at a great disadvantage.
They laid the blame squarely on the doorstep of the federation and went ahead to finish in position 11 out of the 12 teams that participated.
In Dakar, Lionesses were represented by Hilda Indasi (C), Vilma Owino, Mercy Wanyama, Georgia Otieno, Deborah Atieno Obunga, Betty Samba Mjomba, Betty Kananu, Belinda Okoth, Silalei Agalo Shani, Ann Rose Atieno and head coach Ronnie Owino.
The qualifiers are scheduled to take place in Egypt from 5th to the 10th July 2021.
The team will report to camp at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium on May 1st to start preparations for the 2021 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Zone Five Qualifiers in July.