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Lionesses cry out for help in Dakar jungle

The national women’s basketball team poses for a group photo before a match at the FIVA Afribasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal. PHOTO/FIBA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The national women’s basketball team currently in Dakar, Senegal for the FIBA Afrobasket has now asked the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) and the government to release funds that were meant to cater for their allowances.

In a video statement released together and read out by skipper Hilda Indasi, the ladies have admitted they are in dire straits in Dakar and have now called on the Federation’s women’s commission to help add a voice to their cry.

“We have experienced very poor standards and we have only been paid Sh10,000 so far for this assignment. We are being forced to play an international tournament with only 10 players and one coach while being expected to perform at high level which puts us at a great disadvantage,” Indasi said, reading the statement on behalf of her teammates.

The national women’s basketball team skipper Hilda Indasi in action during a match at the FIBA Afribasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal. PHOTO/FIBA

There had been uncertainty over whether or not the team would travel for the tournament, their first since 2013 after KBF failed to get funding from the government with the PS Kirimi Kaberia apparently out of office.

The federation then made the decision to send a smaller team to Dakar off their own coffers while waiting for the government’s funding, according to Secretary general Peter Orero.

The Lionesses had to drop two players and travel with 10 while only one coaching member travelled, head coach Ronnie Owino.

The national women’s basketball team during a match at the FIBA Afribasket Championship in Dakar, Senegal. PHOTO/FIBA

The Lionesses have lost their first two matches of the tournament, going down to Mozambique and Cape Verde and are scheduled to play against top seeds Angola on Wednesday.

“We are asking the leadership of the women’s commission to push the Federation and the Government to release funds as per the budget that was sent immediately we qualified for the Afrobasket,”

“We understand that the budget was 50USD (Sh5,000) per player per day and more from the Federation. We would like a solution for this as we prepare for our next game against Angola,” the girls further stated.

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