Broke Kenya threatens to cancel ITTF Africa Top 16
The Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) has threatened to pull the plug on the ITTF Africa Continental Cup/World Cup tournament slated for March 1-3 in Nairobi over lack of funds.
KTTA chairman Andrew Mudibo gave the Government until Thursday close of business to deposit money into the federation accounts or write to the ITTF requesting cancellation of the Top 16 Cup tournament.
“We had given the Government a budget of KSh20 million which was later trimmed down to KSh10 million and finally KSh7.1 million following talks with Sports Ministry officials.
“For the last one month we have been trying in vain to get the ministry to release those funds to take care of expenses. It is unfortunate that the support we expected from them has not been forthcoming and nobody is telling us what needs to be done,” a charged Mudibo said.
Mudibo also put himself in the firing line by vowing to resign as KTTA boss if the tournament is moved from the country.
“I will talk to the ITTF explaining the circumstances that we are facing and let him know we’re cancelling the tournament. And because of the embarrassment this is likely to create I will tender my resignation,” he said.
The KTTA boss warned Kenya stands to face dire repercussions if the tournament is cancelled at the last minute since plane tickets, visas, satellite and broadcast rights have already been sold in about 200 countries.
“This is not the kind of support that we expect as a host federation when we’re about to host an international event. So much that was planned including coaching clinics, media training and a ‘women in sports’ seminar could go down the drain,” he added.
When contacted, Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia said the Ministry has already exhausted their budget for the last financial year but are ‘doing everything possible’ to fund it.
This could mark the second high profile tournament that Kenya fails to host over unpreparedness after the African Championship of Nations (Chan), whose hosting rights were later awarded to Morocco.