By James Bakama
THERE was a sigh of relief in Uganda’s table tennis fraternity after a team that risked being arrested in Nairobi for failure to pay hotel bills was cleared.
The team of two officials and four players was cleared after world table tennis body ITTF and the Kenya Table Tennis Association agreed to clear the $1800 (sh4.5m) Nairobi Parklands Hotel bill.
“The debt has been cleared and the team has checked out. We had to step in and give a guarantee,” explained KTTA chairman Andrew Mudibo.
Coach Jude Mutete, who said the team’s passports had been confiscated by the hotel the previous day, was a relieved man on Friday.
“All is now okay and we are now on our way to Uganda,” said Mutete.
The team travelled to Kenya for the Africa U-12 Hopes Week and Challenge, a program that comprised of training and competition.
It has ended on Thursday with 11 year olds Rodney Semata and Irene Nekesa winning slots to the global version on the Africa meet in Slovenia in June.
The Ugandans excelled over Kenyan and Nigerian opposition. Kelly Ayikoru and Daphne Akol are the other players on the team that was led by Ronnie Serulya.
Uganda Table Tennis Association chairman Dennis Galabuzi confirmed that the team is safe.
“Like I told you earlier, the matter would be sorted. There was a miscommunication between the event directors and Uganda. As I speak, the team is about to arrive in Uganda,” Galabuzi said on Friday.
Galabuzi said measures will be put in place to ensure there is never a repeat of such a scandal.
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Table tennis team cleared to return