The Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) has pushed back reports of poor working conditions within the national women team.
In a statement, KBF chairman Paul Otula also appeared to blame the team’s coach Ronnie Owino for not instilling “common sense” in the players who are currently competing at the Afro Basket championship international assignment in Senegal.
The players, led by captain Hilda Indasi, have, among other matters, expressed their concerns over delay in payment of allowances.
“The coach should have pre-empted and instilled common sense in the players,” said Otula.
“The (women) team underwent similar preparation conditions just like the men. We have so far paid (for) the return air tickets for the contingent of 14. We have paid participation and accommodation fees. Each player has received an advance allowance of $100 just like the men. These girls should not project but focus on the remaining matches.”
In the minute-long video, the 10 women led by Indasi and Spain-based Mercy Wanyama – who is the younger sibling to Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama- complained over delay in payment of their allowances.
While holding each other perhaps in a show of solidarity, the players also complained that the government could not facilitate the full squad to travel to West Africa for this continental assignment.
They also laid the blame squarely on the doorstep of KBF.
“We have experienced very poor standards and have only been paid Sh10,000 so far for this assignment. We are being forced to play an international tournament with only 10 players (instead of 12) and one coach (instead of three) while being expected to perform (yet) this puts us at a disadvantage,” said Indasi.
This team, dubbed the Lionesses, have lost in their opening two matches at the tournament against Mozambique and Cape Verde and are scheduled to play Angola on Wednesday.
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