Kenya karate team waits for visa for World Cup

NAIROBI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The participation of Kenya at the2016 World Karate Championships in Austria is in doubt with the national team waiting for visas and travel tickets to the event 72 hours ahead of Saturday's departure.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, head coach Bonn Owiti raised the alarm by announcing the government was yet to get back to them concerning their travel and visa plans.

Gordon Oluoch, Director of Sports Kenya, the government agency that deals with financing of national teams among other regulatory duties, said the matter was being 'looked into'.

The World Cup will run from Oct. 26-29.

"We are pleading to the government to do something so that we can travel to Austria because these young boys and girls have been training for the last three months and it will demoralize them much if it says we are not travelling," the coach urged late Tuesday when making the plea to the media.

"We are following up their case. I was in the Ministry today(Tuesday) but unfortunately, I could not secure the funding. It will depend on the availability of funding since there are other teams who are also preparing to go out. We should have a clear way forward by Friday since the team is travelling next week," the former long-serving Kenya's Commissioner for Sport Olouch explained.

With the sport set to be introduced for the first time at the Olympics in the 2020 Tokyo Games in Japan, the coach believes participation in many tournaments will make the team attain greater heights.

"Qualification for the Olympics is quite tight considering that only 80 karatekas participate worldwide. To achieve that it is good to attend tournaments like World Championship, African Championship, and Premier league since they give us points to qualify to the Olympics," Owiti said. Enditem

[ Editor: Xueying ]


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