|Kenya misses Olympic ticket, as African slot is given to Argentina|
Nairobi, Kenya - The hopes of the Kenyan women’s hockey team of making its maiden appearance at the Olympics were dashed after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) gave Africa’s slot to Argentina. South Africa got the ticket to the London Olympics after winning the Africa Zone Olympic qualifiers late last year, with Kenya finishing second.
But South Africa, apparently unimpressed by the standards of the sport in Africa, forfeited the slot.
Under normal circumstances, runner up Kenya should have been given the Olympic ticket, after South Africa's withdrawal.
But for unclear reasons, FIH gave the slot to Argentina, saying the south Americans, who are in the top eight in world hockey rankings, and having failed to secure the Olympic ticket in South American zonal qualifiers, deserved the ticket.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) is now pointing accusing fingers at the Africa Hockey Union (AHU) for failing to push the continent's case.
NOCK said the African hockey governing body left it to the international federation to decide who to give the London Olympics ticket, instead of championing Kenya's case and, by extension, Africa's.
“After AHF failed to push Kenya's case on account of finishing runners up in the African Zone Olympic qualifiers, a non African country was given Africa's slot,” said NOCK.
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) vice chairman Elyna Shiveka described the development as discriminatory and wondered why a non-African country took the continent's slot.
She said it was against the Olympic spirit which calls for inclusiveness.
Kenyan sports administrators are now calling for the intervention of the International Olympic Committee to enable Africa to regain its slot.