The African Volleyball Confederation president Amr Elwani has challenged his affiliates to invest and field teams in the age category competitions.
Elwani, who is the country for the ongoing African Nations championship at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani, said the move will help in the smooth transition to the senior teams.
The official, who is also the FIVB executive vice president at the same time took note of the African volleyball standards, which have stagnated due to lack of finances. “Truth be told, most African countries are not featuring teams in the age group categories and this might cost them in future. For this nations to continue prospering, they need to have feeder programmes, which include the age categories and this should be across the gender,” said Elwan said.
He added: “For instance, only nine nations are participating in the Africa Under-20 women’s Championship here in Nairobi and I am sure few will feature in the next month’s Under 21 men’s event in Nigeria. It is sad that some of the federations don’t get the support from the government and sponsors , which in turn lock the federation from fielding the teams. Maybe the script would have been different if there were no financial constraints.”
Asked about the growth of the discipline in the continent Elwani observed: “I want to believe every nation has its period. Egypt, Tunisia and Kenya had their time and conquered in every competition and I think it is time for Cameroon to shine and that shows the game is competitive. However, the former powerhouses are again crawling back.”
He continued: “Every national team ought to have played at least 50 competitive matches at the end of the year but how many national teams do that? I believe there is none compared to other continents.”
The official at the same time confirmed the FIVB have scraped off the World Grand Prix and instead replaced it with women’s nations’ league.