Kenyan boycott of Glasgow 2014 averted after Government promise to pay team allowances
Kenya’s Government has stepped in to prevent the country’s top athletes, including Olympic champions David Rudisha and Ezekiel Kemboi, boycotting the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after agreeing to pay the team’s allowances.
The athletes had demanded to be paid their full allowances upfront before departure as they claimed the Government had failed to reward the athletes to the World Cross Country Championships in Poland and the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Moscow last year.
Kemboi, the Athens 2004 and London 2012 3,000 metres steeplechase gold medallist, the team’s capitain had raised the issue with Kenya’s Sports Minister Hassan Wario last week when he visited their training camp at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
Kenya’s Commissioner of Sport Gordon Oduor claimed the Government had now settled the allowances for the rugby sevens, judo and shooting teams who had left for Glasgow on Sunday (July 13) without having received their money.
“We had a small hitch securing the money from the bank which was in foreign currency,” Oduor told news agency AFP.
“We want to assure the rest of the team still in the Nairobi residential camp that they will receive their allowances in full before they travel to Glasgow at the end of the week.
“There should be no cause of alarm.”
Each of the 195 athletes in Team Kenya for Glasgow 2014 are entitles to overseas allowances amounting to Sh522,000 (£3,500/$6,000/€4,500) covering 24 days.
The athletics team had been the most outspoken about the allowances and threatened they would not leave for Scotland until they had received the money.
The promise by Oduor to ensure they got the money followed a meeting last night where Paul Mutwii, a vice-president of Athletics Kenya and team manager of the athletics team, had pleaded with them not to boycott.
“We have implored on the athletes to save the country an embarrassment and do their duty,” he said.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.