Blantyre — It is now official that Kenya will host the Zone Five Afrobasket qualifiers for women in Nairobi from July 26 to 31 after Egypt pulled out last week.
This is after Fiba Africa insisted that Kenya, whose basketball standards have gone up of late following exploits of the national men's team, take up the mantle.
According to Fiba Africa, Rwanda, which could have been another alternative, have their hands full after hosting several activities, with the latest being the Basketball African League (BAL) and are in prepararing to host the Fiba Afrobasket Championships in August.
Ambrose Kisoi, the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Secretary General, Tuesday confirmed that country, which lasted noted a championship for women in 2008, has accepted to host the competition.
"Fiba has challenged us to host this prestigious event after Egypt withdrew and I want to confirm that we are equal to task and will indeed host the qualifiers in Nairobi. I just want to appeal to the government to allow us to host the games at the Kasarani Indoor Arena as demanded by Fiba," Kisoi, who is here in Blantyre as the KBF representative at the ongoing Malawi Annual International basketball tournament, said.
KBF treasurer Peter Orero also noted that Kasarani was up to standard to host such a big tourney.
"Fiba knows we are very good hosts based on the previous events we have hosted, but are insisting on the Kasarani venue after the Nyayo indoor arena was overwhelmed when we hosted the Afrobasket pre-qualifiers in January 2019," Orero said.
Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Tanzania will take part in the event, whose winners will represent the region at the Fiba Afrobasket Championship for women in Cameroon in September.
Job Waka, the founder and CEO of Sterling Sports Inc, comfirmed they will partner with the federation to host the championships.
"We are ready to host a championship that has never been seen here before. We will mobilise all resources available to host this event in Kenya including paying the hosting fees, facilitating the transport and accommodation of all officials from Fiba Africa, among other requirement," Waka said.