Blow as Malkia Strikers withdraw from World Grand Prix
The Kenya women volleyball team -The Malkia Strikers – has withdrawn from this year’s edition of the World Grand Prix.
The 2017 edition of the World Grand Prix will feature record 32 teams with the Preliminary round taking place over three weeks including July 7 to 9, July 14 to 16 and July 21 to 23.
Kenya was set to play hosts Peru, Puerto Rico and Czech Republic in Peru then head to Kazakhstan for a date with Germany, Croatia and Kazakhstan before finishing their first round in Korea against Poland , Korea and Kazakhstan.
Confirming this to michezoafrika.com on Tuesday morning, Kenya Volleyball Federation chairman Waithaka Kioni said the Federation made the painful decision due to the unavailability of funds to send the team to the expensive series.
“It is a painful decision to make and as a federation we had no option but to withdraw the team in good time to avoid a hefty fine from FIVB.” Kioni noted.
“To take the team through the three countries, we needed over 10 million shillings this including over 9.7 Million as air ticket. This is because FIVB changed their rules as from 2017 all teams will be required to pay for their own air tickets while FIVB takes care of accommodation and other competition logistics.” Kioni added.
Last year during the series that took place in Argentina, Bulgaria and Poland: Kenya finished at the bottom of Group 3 but survived relegation after FIVB increased the number of teams taking part in the competition.
Cameroon having qualified for the Olympics as African representatives in 2016 was elevated to the Grand Prix and will be making their debut appearance in Group 3 joining Algeria as the third African nation to feature in the prestigious event.