‘We should not wait to learn at the World Cup’ - Veteran volleyball coach warns African teams after being readmitted to World Championships

©David Lung'aho Facebook.

VOLLEYBALL ‘We should not wait to learn at the World Cup’ - Veteran volleyball coach warns African teams after being readmitted to World Championships

Joel Omotto 12:40 - 08.07.2023

The tactician, who was in charge of Kenya Prisons at the 2014 World Championships, feels the continent needs to learn from past mistakes

Veteran volleyball coach David Lunga’ho feels African clubs must consistently put in top performances at the World Championships if they have to maintain their place after being readmitted this week.

World Volleyball governing body FIVB made changes to the World Volleyball Championship starting next year where participating teams were increased to eight from six with Africa granted one slot.

The changes mean the men’s and women’s teams that win the CAVB Africa Club Championships will get a direct ticket to the global event, having missed out on a number of years after FIVB locked out teams from the continent over consistent dismal performances.

“In recognition of the development of African volleyball, the Board of Administration approved including the winner of the CAVB Club Championship in future editions of the FIVB Club World Championships for both men and women,” FIVB said via statement on its website on Wednesday.

“Starting from 2024, the qualification for the Club World Championships will be as follows: two places per continent for Europe, Asia, and South America; one place for Africa; and finally, a club from the host nation will be granted a place. This change aims to ensure the fair representation from different continents and provides an opportunity for the host country to participate in the tournament.”

Lung’aho is the last coach to take a Kenyan team to the World Club Championships, doing it with Kenya Prisons in 2014, and believes Africa’s place is not guaranteed unless they maintain high standards.

“It is important that if an African team goes there, they put in a good performance so that we maintain our position,” Lung’aho told Pulse Sports.

“We went there four times as Prisons but our performance was good. There is a time we were fifth and even the matches that we were losing was close, so we made the standards high.

“As Africa, we should not wait to learn at the World Cup, we should find ways on how we should improve here. If you play poorly for 20 years and keep saying you are improving then it says there are some issues.

“When you talk to a few guys, they say Africa is really delaying with its development. We are not catching up with the world. Maybe because we are not exposed enough or we are waiting for FIVB to push us which I don’t think they will.”

The changes are a win for Kenyan clubs, especially Kenya Prisons, KCB and Kenya Pipeline women’s sides, who are perennial participants at the CAVB Africa Club Championships where they are always among the favourites.

KCB are the current African women champions but the changes have come late for them as they will have to watch the 2023 global edition from a far as they plot to defend their title which will earn them a place to the 2024 global tournament.