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Wacu banned

Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 00:00 -- BY CHRIS MBAISI

Kenya volleyball official accuses national team booster of gross misconduct in Maputo

National women’s team booster Jane Wacu has been suspended indefinitely from all volleyball activities due to what officials described as misconduct. Kenya Volleyball Federation chairman Waithaka Kioni said he had asked Wacu to take a walk “because she is indisciplined and a bad influence to the team”.

He said the player will neither be allowed to play for the national team or her Prisons Club in the period she will  be serving her suspension. The KVF boss also attributed Kenya’s failure to recapture the All Africa Games title, which they last won in 1999 in Johannesburg, to Wacu’s conduct.

He said with the busy calendar ahead they “cannot afford to deal with elements, who could derail the team’s focus”. From Maputo, the Kenya team heads back to Nairobi start preparations for the World Championships in November in Japan. There are also the 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers in January. “To say the truth, I have been observing Wacu and she is not the kind of player we would want to have in the team at the moment,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, no player is indispensable. I want Wacu’s case to serve as a lesson to others. She may be the best booster but without discipline, KVF will have no time for her,” he said.

Wacu’s suspension is likely to benefit Janet Wanja who in the recent past has been playing second fiddle to Wacu as a team setter. Kioni said the suspension of Wacu is meant to give the player time to sit back and refocus her priorities. “The National volleyball team has no place for indiscipline. Wacu has to decide what she wants because if she has to play for Kenya she has to shape up,” he said.

He said the player had admitted she made mistakes but the KVF boss said he needs convincing she will change her ways. Conceding mistakes doesn’t necessarily mean someone is willing to change,” he noted. Kioni at the same time said his committee would meet in two weeks time to discuss the composition of the women’s team’s  technical bench after the dismal showing here in Maputo. “We want to re-organise every department of the team before we leave for Japan,” he said.

Meanwhile, KVF is keen to take the national men’s team to the Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco later this month. Kioni said they need Sh3 million to take part in the event and called on well-wishers to come to their rescue. He said the current team under coach Gideon Chenje is very promising and needs all the support it can get to match the women’s team’s achievements. Both Kenyan teams (men and women) won bronze here in Maputo. The women’s team started as favourites for gold but a number of blunders saw them lose to Cameroon 3-1 in the semis before they punished Nigeria 3-0 in the third place play off.

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