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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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- News24


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