Stranded New Zealanders to leave Kenya Thursday
02 October 2014, 15:28
Nairobi - The Stranded New Zealand rugby sevens team Auckland Metro will finally leave the country Thursday night.
The Kenya Rugby Union [KRU] chairman,
Mwangi Muthee, who had a meeting with the group at their hotel
in the morning said they could not get flight bookings for the team,
once it failed to make the earlier scheduled departure on Sunday
September 28, a few hours after the Safaricom Sevens where
Metro lost 14-17 to Kenya Shujaa in the Plate Final.
“The coach/team manager and the
physiotherapist were able to take the Sunday flight in Nairobi at 22.50
hours local time. The rest of the contingent say they were made to
believe by a KRU liaison official that a later flight on Tuesday would
be available and were happy to stay behind.
“But this assurance contradicted a
travel agent’s statement saying flight connections from Dubai through
Australian cities of Perth, Melbourne and Sydney were completely full
the whole week.
“One player was able to travel out on Tuesday night, “Muthee said adding:
“However, plans have been made that we
route the rest of the players elsewhere, the alternatives being on
Emirates or Kenya Airways flights to China and onward to New Zealand via
China Airways. Through Australia is completely out, this week.”
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Muthee said flight connections from and to New Zealand are always difficult:
“The KRU spent Sh27 million for return
air tickets to all our visitors from 11 countries including Argentina,
Australia, Spain, Germany, Britain, South Africa and Fiji who returned
home without a hitch."
“The Auckland Metro tickets had all been
confirmed departure from New Zealand on September 24 via Dubai and
return, Nairobi/Dubai on Sunday, September 28, at 22.50hrs.”
The KRU chairman said the Auckland Metro
players were still being comfortably accommodated at an excellent
hotel, at KRU's expense, and hoped the travel hitch did not
inconvenience them too much. He also dismissed information doing the
rounds that the team missed its flight after partying, terming it
baseless and untruthful.
“At a KRU Board meeting, later, we shall
carry out an investigation on how apparent contradictory information
about the travel details was communicated,” he said.
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