What you need to know:
- Kenya's other representatives and silver medalist Blazers flew back on Tuesday morning.
- Speaking to Nation Sport on arrival, Lakers coach Austine Tuju simply said it was shameful and disappointing, blaming the Kenya Hockey Union for their drastic disqualification.
Lakers women's hockey team arrived in the country Wednesday morning from Blantyre, Malawi where their participation in the Africa Cup for Club Champions was unceremoniously cut short after they were disqualified for fielding ineligible players.
Their counterparts Western Jaguars men's hockey team, who finished second behind winners Sharkia of Egypt arrived Tuesday night.
Jaguars were beaten by Sharkia 4-2 to finish second in their second appearance having made their debut in the delayed 2022 edition that was hosted in Nairobi in February.
Kenya's other representatives and silver medalist Blazers flew back on Tuesday morning.
Speaking to Nation Sport on arrival, Lakers coach Austin Tuju simply said it was shameful and disappointing, blaming the Kenya Hockey Union for their drastic disqualification.
"KHU was totally aware of the team's composition. Let's not play games with young and promising sports women and future Olympians for nothing but insensitive selfish gain and non- growth mentality..They deliberately choose not to update the final list and communicate the same with the Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF). What a sad and inhuman act. They did a shoddy investigation because if anything, most clubs had typically the same case.. and were in solidarity with Lakers," said Tuju.
"I highly doubt if the current KHU office wants the growth of hockey in this country. They put their personal, selfish and insensitive interests ahead of all other hockey families," he added.
A source at KHU said Lakers didn't furnish it with the final list that the team had handed to the Malawi Hockey Association which could have complicated things, but Tuju insisted the Union was privy to the changes.
Meanwhile, Jaguars team manager Peter Okova said he was glad the team competed in the event, saying they picked lots of positives.
"It was a worthwhile venture with opportunities for exposure at the elite level. We look forward to attending more tournaments. Despite honouring the Championship after traveling by road to Malawi, we are happy that the sacrifice of the players did not go in vain.
We have something to smile about and we can only get better. This was a tremendous improvement having finished fourth in our maiden appearance early this year in Nairobi. We celebrate the lads," said Okova.
Jaguars were awarded the fair play award, while Newton Shibachi was voted the Best Goalkeeper.