A day later, national hockey teams finally head to Afcon

Kenya women's hockey team pose for a photo at Simba Union after their training session on January 12, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The teams left aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight at 5am at the Jomo Kenyatta International Aiport for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before connecting to Accra, Ghana. They are expected in the West African country at around 11am (EAT).
  • The teams failed to depart to Ghana last Saturday as the Sports Fund board had not approved their budget and the women's team missed their opening match against Nigeria, which has now been rescheduled to Wednesday.

National hockey teams finally left the country Tuesday morning for Ghana to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations which bullied off Monday.

The men and women's teams left aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight at 5am at the Jomo Kenyatta International Aiport for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before connecting to Accra, Ghana. They are expected in the West African country at around 11am EAT.

The teams failed to depart to Ghana last Saturday as the Sports Fund board had not approved their budget and the women's team missed their opening match against Zmbia, which has now been rescheduled to Wednesday.

It remains to be seen whether the ladies will be able to honour their second pool 'B match against the hosts set for 11am local time (2pm EAT). The men's team face Namibia at 5pm local time (8pm EAT) in their opening match.

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) president Nashon Randiek stated that he was pulling all  strings so that the women's match against Ghana be rescheduled, but conceded it will be hard.

"I know it's too much to ask of the Africa Hockey Federation president to reschedule our tie against Ghana but we will see how it goes. We are in a tight corner but the teams have to go the extra mile.

The women's team have no choice but to win the other remaining ties against Nigeria and Zambia if they have to proceed to the semifinal stage. The men's outfit have to go all the way, atleast for them they have all their fixtures in play, but jet lag will be their main undoing but we remain hopeful, " the official added.

The women's team, under the guidance of former international Jacqueline Mwangi, will line up against little known Zambia on Wednesday 9am, before they wrap up their group stages with a tie against Nigeria.

Nigeria played to a 2-2 draw against Ghana on Monday, a clear indication that they are not push overs having finished third during the last edition that was held in Ismailia in Egypt.

Ghana were runners up behind winners South Africa. Kenya men's team, under the watchful eyes of Fedhils Kimanzi, battle Namibia Tuesday 5pm, before they take on champions South Africa the next day at 4pm.

Other men's match lined up in pool 'B'  on Tuesday will see Nigeria battle Uganda at 1pm, while Ghana play Egypt at 7pm in another fixture. The top two teams will qualify for the semifinals.

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