Wazalendo headed to Ghana in high spirits

Monday, November 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Butali Warriors forward George Mutira collides with Wazalendo goalkeeper Bright Kazungu during a past league tie at City Park Stadium on Sunday. PD/ALEX NJUE

Wazalendo men’s hockey team will carry Kenya’s hopes at next week’s Africa Cup for Clubs Championship at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium
in Accra, Ghana.

The team qualified for the November 24-30 event after they finished second behind winners Butali Sugar Warriors during the 2019 Kenya Hockey Union Premier League.

However, Butali, alongside Blazers and United States of International University of Africa women’s teams, who had also booked automatic tickets to the annual event after they finished in the top two positions
in the women’s league, will skip the event due to lack of finances.

Title favourite Wazalendo, who are without a sponsor, have been struggling to raise funds to enable them to take part in the continental event with club
President Bernard Kubasu, optimistic everything will fall into place.

“We had a huge task of raising a Sh7 million budget
in preparation for the event. Through numerous platforms, we have been able to raise a huge part of the budget, but we are still short,” he said.

The 2020 showpiece, which was primed for Malawi, failed to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Upon arrival to Ghana, the team will be required to take a mandatory Covid-19 test.

“The test will cost roughly Ksh15,000 per individual, something we had not factored for initially, plus logistical matters. We still need around Ksh500,000 to see the tournament through,” Wazalendo steering Committee chairman Moses Majiwa said.

The team, which is expected to depart for Ghana today, will
compete against Zamalek, former champions Eastern Company and
Tairat all from Egypt, home sides Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Army and Ghana Police Service as well as Kada Stars and Police Machine from Nigeria.

Wazalendo coach Fidelis Kimanzi said they are not under pressure as they return to the event after a 14- year hiatus.

“The underdog tag can work for or against us, but I know we are going to Ghana to compete and not to participate,” Kimanzi said.

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