Paris 2024: Paul Bitok set to reveal next move amidst KVF controversy

© Paul Bitok

Paris 2024: Paul Bitok set to reveal next move amidst KVF controversy

Festus Chuma 11:40 - 14.05.2024

KVF deputy coach Paul Bitok to announce future plans amid controversy over top officials joining Olympic team's technical bench

The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) is currently caught in a storm of criticism following the appointment of its top officials to key positions on the technical bench of the women's national team, the Malkia Strikers, for the upcoming Paris Olympics. 

Paul Bitok, the deputy coach and a central figure in this controversy, is poised to announce his future plans this Friday in a move that could potentially quell or ignite further discord.

Bitok, who has been instrumental in securing Olympic berths for the team in both 2020 and 2024, finds himself at the heart of a contentious decision by KVF to appoint federation officials to positions typically reserved for independent technical experts. 

“I would like to thank everyone for their concerns regarding the composition of the technical team for the Olympics," Bitok stated. 

"After achieving significant results with Malkia Strikers, including two Olympic qualifications, I find it paramount to discuss the future direction with all stakeholders involved."

Bitok’s tenure as an assistant coach has been marked by significant achievements, but his recent appointment by KVF, alongside President Charles Nyaberi as the team manager, has raised questions about the federation's governance. 

Critics argue that such appointments could undermine the technical independence of the team’s management.

Amid the uproar, Bitok has expressed his intention to conclude his coaching career with Malkia Strikers post-Olympics to ensure a smooth transition and to complete an eight-year developmental program with the team.

 "It is my hope to finish strong with the team that I have dedicated much of my career to," he added.

The KVF has also faced criticism for not extending its partnership with the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) Volleyball Empowerment Programme, which previously invested heavily in the team's preparation. 

Kenyan volleyball legends and former players have voiced their discontent with the current state of affairs.

David Lung’aho, who coached the national team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, criticized the greed apparent within the federation's executive committee.

 "It's disheartening to see the struggle for positions within a team we have painstakingly built over the years," Lung’aho remarked as per Standard.

Moreover, the situation has drawn the attention of political figures such as Dan Wanyama a former national team captain and current Member of Parliament who has pledged to discuss the matter with sports authorities to ensure that only qualified individuals serve in these critical roles.

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