Depleted Handball squad departs for Kenya

Handball Association of Zambia
Handball Association of Zambia

A depleted nine-member Zambia handball team finally left for Kenya yesterday to compete at the 9th edition of the Africa Under-17 Championships that got underway the same day.
The team was further trimmed from 12 to seven players meaning that the Zambian team will not have substitutes at the competition that comes to an end on March 30 in Nairobi and which will also be used as qualifiers for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
Handball Association of Zambia (HAZ) general secretary Josab Changa said in an interview that the players will not get any allowances after failure to raise K295,000 deficit from the K300,000 budget.
Changa said in the interest of saving Zambia from getting various sanctions from the continental body, the players agreed to go for the games without any allowances.
He said Zambia just had to send a team to avoid a 40, 000 Euros fine from the Confederation of African Handball (CAHB).
Changa expressed sadness at the failure by Government to bail out the national team ahead of an important competition.
“We were expecting to get assistance from the Office of the Vice President but they referred us back to the Ministry of Sports where we had already been denied assistance and there is no one to help us since officials are in Costa Rica.
“As an association, we had approached over 50 business firms to help us raise the needed money but most of the companies said they were committed with football and could not extend their aid to handball,” a visibly annoyed Changa said.
Changa said the association exhausted all the channels in its efforts to mobilise funds but things could not just work.
He claimed that some officials at the ministry were just interested in gallivanting at the expense of helping sports associations.
He called on the companies to come forward and help HAZ send more players to beef up the seven that left yesterday and thanked the National Organisation for Women in Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) and National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the support rendered.
Meanwhile, Changa remained confident that the team would put up a good performance against the hosts in the opening game today despite the hardship suffered by the delegation. The players that left are Gracious Lupiya, Pritchard Syakwayi, Musa Kabunda, David Kalunga, Chikazaziyo Banda, Likangle Phiri and Naluyumba Tembo.

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