15 dropped as Deaflympics team named
Kenya has named a 57-player squad from the initial 72 called up to represent the country in the upcoming African Deaflympics Qualifiers.
Deaf Football Association of Kenya (DFAK) called up 40 male and 32 female footballers and after a rigorous selection exercise, the final squad was announced with 15 players dropped.
Kenya men’s deaf national team, Deaf Harambee Stars, will now have a 30-man squad while the women’s team, Deaf Harambee Starlets, has a total of 27 promising players ready to make the country proud.
Kenya is getting ready to host 20 other African countries as they seek to make use of home advantage to win the inaugural champions set for this September 11-25 in Nairobi and qualify for the 24th Summer Deaflympics Games set to take place in Brazil from May 1-15, 2022.
However, DFAK chairman Stephen Waweru said that the association is facing serious financial challenges in preparing the two national teams and has called on well-wishers and corporates to come on board and help them prepare adequately.
“The selection exercise is now over and we’re pleased with the squads we have named.
However, a lot needs to be done in terms of proper preparations, training, playing tune-up matches and then going for residential camp training early considering that the competition starts on September 11-25 which is fast approaching,” Waweru told People Sport.
“Both teams are psyched up and ready to take on other African countries. But lack of funds for our teams’ training is our big challenge.
With our selected players coming from various parts of the country, it’s a big challenge for us to have all of them come to training and play friendly matches.
This means that it’s a tall order for us financially to prepare for the teams’ training. We have approached the government but alone it can’t solve our issues.
So we’re appealing to corporates to come and stand with us for this coming African competition,” Waweru appealed.
Philemon Ekipotet is the man tasked with the responsibility of coaching the men’s team, while Martha Mumbua will be in charge of the women’s team.
Senegal, Gabon, Cameroon, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Liberia, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Mauritania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Nigeria, Somaliland, Egypt, Benin, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, and the Gambia will battle with Kenya for the only two slots set aside for Africa in the Summer Deaflympics.