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National basketball teams fail to book plane to Egypt


The national basketball teams failed to travel to Cairo, Egypt for the Fiba Africa Zone V Championship yesterday after the government allegedly cancelled their air tickets.

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) First Vice Chairman Hilmi Ali expressed fears Kenya might miss out of the high profile one week regional event that serves off in Cairo today.

“We received a message from the Sports Ministry on Friday night that the government had canceled the tickets, we really don’t know why the tickets were cancelled at the 11th hour,” said Ali, who was scheduled to travel with the teams.

Fiba referee Ambrose Kisoi, who has been spearheading the teams quest for visas at the Egyptian Embassy in Nairobi said he was shocked to hear that the tickets were cancelled following a rumour that the teams had not secured visas.

“The Sports Ministry officials who had cancelled the tickets said they thought we had failed to acquire the visas in time. We got all our visas on Friday,” said Kisoi.

National Sports Fund Chief Executive Officer Jackson Indakwa declined to comment on the matter or give reasons as to why the tickets were cancelled in the last minute. However, he stated that he has referred KBF to the Sports Ministry for help following the cancellation of the tickets.

KBF President Paul Otula, who is still optimistic the teams would depart to Cairo anytime from now, said Fiba has given Kenya a window untill Monday to make it to Egypt.

“Even though the games are starting tomorrow, Fiba has agreed to push Kenyan matches to Tuesday and Wednesday.

Egypt has also agreed to supplement Kenya’s accommodation provided the squad makes it to Cairo,”Otula said.

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