NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – The Laiser Hill Academy rugby 15s team will know their fate Wednesday whether or not they will represent Kenya in next month’s East Africa School Games in Gulu, Uganda.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) will deliver its ruling after a sitting with the Ministry of Education on Tuesday to deliberate on Laiser Hill’s appeal after they were initially banned from the games for fielding an over-age player during the national school games in April.
Speaking to Capital Sport, KSSSA chairman Kimutai Ng’etich said the Executive Council and the Ministry of Education officials will ensure the decision is reached quick enough with less than three weeks left before the games start.
“We need to look at the case urgently basing on the submissions that Laiser Hill have given us. They had 14 days to appeal but it is good they did so within one day. We have to make the decision as quick as possible so that our teams can prepare well. Our country is at stake and we do not want to disadvantage any team,” Ng’etich said.
St Mary’s Yala who finished fourth at the nationals has been drafted as a replacement should Laiser Hill’s appeal fail and Ng’etich has reiterated the decision to include the Lake Region side will only be affirmed once the appeal is determined.
“The ban can only be executed once their appeal is heard. That is our standard procedure,” Ng’etich further explained.
National champions Kakamega High School made the complaint to KSSSA and the Education Ministry, with the contention being the inclusion of Ephraim Odwor who is allegedly overage.
Laiser Hill however maintained their claim that Odwor did not play any match and they had struck his name off their team roster and wrote a letter to the regional association on the same.
“He (Odwor) came from Kakamega High last year and has never played for us at any level of this competition because he failed to produce the documents needed, more so his original birth certificate,” a source from Laiser Hill who sought anonymity told Capital Sport.
According to KSSSA chair Ng’etich, Kakamega had made their appeal on three students, with two being given the all-clear after investigations. However, the only bone of contention was Odwor.
“Yes, he did not play at all but he was in the team list and the regulation is that when someone is in the team list he or she is deemed to be part of the team whether or not they will play,” Ng’etich further added.
Kakamega were crowned national champions after beating Laiser 18-14 in the final but both earned tickets to the East Africa games.