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Page added on July 10, 2012
The Sierra Leone Beach Volleyball delegation was held in detention for five hours at the Cairo International Airport after their arrival in Egypt on Saturday, 7th July, 2012. (Photo: Sierra Leone and Guinean male beach volleyball teams training at the Heliopolis Sporting Club in Cairo. )
The delay was as a result of doubt on the issuance of the Egyptian visas on the delegation’s passport which was later cross checked and confirmed on telephone calls for their release.
‘’We felt so bad over the delay and I think it was so embarrassing to the country as a whole. However, we consider it as sportsmanly tactics and hope to continue our journey to Cyprus very smoothly,’’ says head of delegation, Sorie Kamara.
The team is presently at the Indiana Hotel in Cairo together with the Guinean team who are training at the Heliopolis Sport Club to build on their skills and be very strong to represent Africa.
Patrick Lombie and Momodu Samura are in high spirit to compete in the first FIVB world Beach Volleyball Championship for U-19 boys and girls.
‘’We hope to make good impact in the competition because we’re mentally prepared to face any team,’’ Said Momodu Samura, team captain. He however expressed dissatisfaction over the female team who qualified with bronze but could not make it to the tournament because of financial constraints.
Meanwhile, Sixty-four teams are expected to participate in the World U-19 beach volleyball Championship schedule to take place on 11th -14th July, 2012 in Larnaka, Cyprus.
According to the CAVB beach volleyball Director in Cairo, May Alaa, the absence of the Sierra Leone female team in the upcoming competition has created a vacuum in the African quota which according to her is quite disappointing.
‘’I think it’s disappointing and a shame to the entire Africa and we as CAVB are not happy with the ugly situation,’’ Says May Alaa. She further expressed fear for the team’s participation in the Canada U-21 World championship in August, 2012.
It could be recalled that Sierra Leone female beach volleyball team qualified to represent Africa in the last All African Games but missed out again for the same reason.
However, the six African countries that are expected to take part in the competition include Sierra Leone, Senegal, Niger, Guinea, Algeria and Namibia.
The Sierra Leone delegation is expected to depart for Cyprus on Tuesday, 10th July after the issuance of the Cyprus visas on Monday.
By Florence Amara in Cairo
Credit: SWASAL, Sponsors: Mercury International Ltd.
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