The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) has dismissed as ‘fake information’ reports suggesting the national women volleyball team could miss out on the forthcoming FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan because a number of their star players are pregnant.
While confirming that indeed a number of their first team players are expectant, a statement by the federation’s media commission explained the affected players had already been replaced in the team.
“We also want to note that the aforementioned (pregnant) players (Brackides Agala, Esther Wangeci, Lydia Maiyo, Mildred Odwako and Ruth Jepngetich) served the national team in the best possible way during their time but have not been drafted in the provisional squad currently training at the Kasarani indoor stadium ahead of the international tournament,” read the statement.
“Therefore, it is really uncalled for to say the team is handicapped when as a country we have amazing talent to choose from.”
The statement by KVF comes days after the circulation of reports on social media that the team was considering withdrawing from the championships owing to the number of pregnancies.
However, Agala, Wangeci, Maito and Jepngetich’s absence could affect the team’s performance. The four are seasoned players and have been part of the team for the past half a decade, competing at international events including the Africa Cup of Nations and FIVB Women’s World Cup in Japan in 2015.
Kenya, who are the reigning Africa champions, will compete against 23 other countries including hosts Japan, Brazil and the USA during the World Championship which will be staged in the cities of Yokohama, Sapporo, Kobe, Hamamatsu, Nagoya and Osaka between September 29 and October 20.
Kenya which is under the tutelage of coach Japheth Munala, have been pooled in Group D together with Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico and Serbia.
KVF president Waithaka Kioni recently announced that the team will camp in Japan for two weeks in readiness for the competition.