Sport

Why Blazers have been fined by AHF

Why Blazers have been fined by AHF
  • Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Secretary General Wycliffe Ongori has termed the move by AHF as a wakeup call.
  • Ongori said the team has no choice but to pay the fine.

Blazers (formerly Telkom) have been fined 1000 Euros (Sh110,391) by the African Hockey Federation (AHF) for their late withdrawal from last year's Africa Cup of Club Championship held in Ismailia, Egypt.

The 10-time continental club champions, who lost their Telkom sponsorship in June last year, have since then undergone financial challenges and failed to defend their continental crown, which was won by Egyptian club El Sharkia.

The team is meant to pay the fine by February 29 this year, failure to which the AHF may consider further sanctions. According to AHF rules, clubs withdrawing from the continental competition should do so a month prior to the tourney. Blazers pulled out of the annual tourney days to the event.

Blazers coach Jos Openda said they have reached out to Kenya Hockey Union and they are working together to ensure compliance to the requirements.

“I’m glad one of our players (Jackline Mwangi), who is a member of the FIH Athletes Committee, FIH Development committee and Chairperson of the AHF Athletes Committee, is negotiating with AHF so that we can pay less. But bottom line, we are going to pay so that we participate in this year’s event. Should we not pay the fine, we might face other sanctions and we are not ready to go that route," said the acclaimed coach.

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Secretary General Wycliffe Ongori has termed the move by AHF as a wakeup call.

Ongori said the team has no choice but to pay the fine.

“There are no two ways about it. From now henceforth, the union will be giving the qualified clubs a duration period to confirm their participation failure to which we give chance to the other willing clubs,” said Ongori.

“For instance, this time around, we have given the participating clubs until May 1 to confirm their participation. We await to see who will beat the deadline. It’s only through such arrangements that we will not find ourselves in such predicaments and unfortunate outcomes going forward."

Champions Butali Sugar Warriors, who failed to honour last year’s event due to financial constraints alongside much-improved Wazalendo, have qualified for this year’s event in the men’s category, while Blazers and United States International University Africa (USIU-A) Spartans will fly the country's flag in the women’s category.

The top two teams at the completion of the men and women's Premier League earn automatic tickets to the Club Championship.

Ongori also revealed that the union will this weekend meet with team managers and coaches to chart the way forward ahead of the 2020 season scheduled to kick off next month.