Former champions Butali Sugar Warriors men’s team will not feature in this month’s Hockey Africa Cup of Club Championship (ACCC) set for December 15-22 in Abuja, Nigeria after all.
Butali alongside their local nemesis Kenya Police were scheduled to represent the country in the men’s category by virtue of finishing first and second respectively in last year’s Kenya Hockey Union men’s premier league.
Butali team manager Kamal Sembi confirmed the team will not grace the seven-day event saying they are not just ready for the championship.
“We have few days to the championship and it’s unfortunate some of the player’s haven’t gotten release letters from their respective employees and the situation leaves the team vulnerable,” noted the official.
He added: “We would have loved to be part of the teams that feature in the event that attracts the best sides in Africa but once again our hands are tied.”
This is not the first time Butali are pulling out of the event. Early this year, Butali together with the then champions Strathmore University, skipped the event that was held in Accra, Ghana due to various reasons. Sembi said they have now switched their focus to Sunday’s do-or-die clash against rivals Kenya Police.
Leader Police have 60 points while their Sunday opponent are second with 57 points. Sembi said it will be a tough game but they will give their best.
It is, however, not clear whether Kenya Police will compete in event although sources hinted that they could equally pull out on technicality.
A source observed: “We are going to see our management and by the close of business today (yesterday), we will have feedback on whether we will feature in the event or not.”
The development now leaves only women’s team including regular Telkom and debutants United States International University Africa to represent the country.
Telkom will be seeking to reclaim the trophy they lost to Ghana Revenue Authority while the students will be seeking to leave a mark in their time of calling.