× Sports Football Rugby Olympics Volleyball and Handball Cricket Boxing Golf Hockey Tennis Gossip & Rumours World Cup 2018 Basketball Athletics Sports Premier League Eliud Kipchoge Women in Sports Unique Sports Opinion Motorsport Videos Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

BIG PLUS FOR KENYA: Freezing new transfers of allegiance will protect local talents

ATHLETICS By AFP | February 9th 2017
Helah Kiprop of Kenya runs with her compatriots Jemima Jelagat Sumgong and Visiline Jepkesho during the women's marathon at the 15th IAAF Championships in Beijing, China August 30, 2015. REUTERS

Under-age Kenyans are being “lured” without their consent or knowledge to compete for other countries, a top official said Tuesday, welcoming a move to stop athletes switching allegiances.

The International Association of Athletics Federations on Monday said it was freezing all new transfers of allegiance, with IAAF president Sebastian Coe saying that the “present rules are no longer fit for purpose”.

Kenya has suffered particularly badly: since 2003 more than 60 Kenyan-born athletes have given up their nationality to run for another country, most notably for Bahrain and Qatar.

During the Rio Olympics, 20 former Kenyans competed for adopted countries, including Ruth Jebet, who upset her former compatriots to win the first Olympic gold medal for Bahrain in the 3,000m steeplechase.

“We fully support the move to put to an end the transfer of innocent young talented Kenyans without justification and due process as the law provides,” a top sports official at the education ministry, Eliud Wambua, told AFP.

Wambua, also a member of an Athletics Kenya (AK) youth committee, said many under-age children were transferred to other countries without their say-so, often after their parents were “enticed” with money.

“The change of allegiance has been a big blow to this country. Some of our innocent children have been lured away without their knowledge by people masquerading as their coaches, managers and agents.

“Other countries have opened a supermarket on Kenya by taking advantage of the young ones, who sometimes don’t understand they are being forced to forfeit their nationalities.”

Wambua said Kenya had no problem with any athlete trying to earn a living by competing for another country but they must only do so when they are old enough and given clearance by the national federation.

Share this story
Equity Hawk’s plans to destroy KPA in Nairobi
Equity Bank’s Hawks captain Samba Mjomba is confident they will make history as they tackle Fiba Africa Zone V Clubs Basketball champions Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) women’s Premier League final playoff at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi this weekend.
Why Kenyan boxers are winning medals once again
The BFK led by President Anthony ‘Jamal’ Ombok was elected into the office in 2019 and has since...