Kenya Down Morocco to Storm Africa Nations Champs Final

19 September 2021

Kenya women's volleyball team advanced to the finals of the Africa Nations Championships after a 3-0 (25-12,25-21-25-11)win over Morocco in the semi-finals held Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda.

The win means Malkia Strikers have qualified for the FIVB World Championship. Kenya were set to play Rwanda in the semis on Saturday, but the hosts were disqualified for fielding ineligible players.

Kenya will meet the winner of the clash between Cameroon and Nigeria in the final on Sunday night.

On Thursday, Nigeria, who were drawn in pool "A"alongside Senegal, Morocco and the hosts, filed a formal complaint to the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) over the eligibility status of four Rwandese players.

The four are right-attacker Aline Siqueira, centre Apolinario Caroline Taina, setter Mariana Da Silva and left-attacker Moreira Bianca Gomes.

The development saw the action , which was supposed to come to end Sunday with top two nations proceeding to the next year's World championship to be held in Netherlands and Poland, shelved.

After the complaint, CAVB had proposed that the suspension against the players should be maintained, but asked whether it was possible for the Rwandan national team to continue playing.

However, a proposal addressed to CAVB president Bouchra Hajij on Saturday evening from the World governing body FIVB read in part:

"The suspension of the players and the Rwanda Volleyball Federation must be maintained. All matches played by the Rwandan national team be declared a forfeit according to the FIVB regulations," the global body said.

FIVB emphasised that it cannot take decision that would contravene its regulations.

In a rejoinder, Rwanda Volleyball Federation (RVF) stated that it was willing to continue with the organisation of the event, but required FIVB to immediately lift the provisional suspension of the players and national team.

FIVB regulations state that a player's federation of origin is the first federation to issue a national license or otherwise register the player within it's Federation.

Rwanda had won against Morocco and Nigeria and were scheduled to play Senegal on Friday.

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