"Yes, we had entered them for the race but I have been told they have failed to get travel documents."
Kampala is set for Sunday. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
A team of refugees that had registered for the 42nd edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Independence Grounds in Kampala due on Sunday have withdrawn.
Paulo Lokoro, Dominic Lobalu, Brenda Ihure and Faustino Oyo, led by refugees goodwill ambassador Tegla Loroupe, had been entered to compete in the mixed relay for the first time.
But UAF general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru, who is in charge of entrance for the competition, confirmed withdrawal of the team after they failed to get travel documents to Kampala.
Although origins of the refugee athletes remain unclear, Ayikoru said some of them were expected from neighbouring Kenya.
"Yes, we had entered them for the race but I have been told they have failed to get travel documents. We cannot allow them to come and compete without the documents because it is dangerous," said Ayikoru.
The team was approved by the international athletics body UAF.
They were entered for the mixed relay event which is run by two men and two women. It is the first time the event is being included on the World Cross Country programme.
Hundreds of athletes from 60 some nations are set to compete in the event in Kampala on Sunday.