The Kenya Defence Forces boxing team is having sleepless nights. The former national boxing champions feel cheated. They feel aggrieved and let down.
Although they gave champions Kenya Police a scare during the just-ended league battle, the soldiers have blamed judges at the event for their failure to land the coveted title.
Kenya Defence Forces team manager Ben Maingi said when officials have predetermined minds, it threatens to kill the sport, which puts emerging talent at an disadvantaged position when they face veterans.
“It is demoralising when judges deny winners victory at any stage of the tournament. When one awards losers with an undeserved victory, it does not assist them in any way but rather erodes the already dwindling standards,” said Maingi.
“We saw it coming but we could do little to rescue the situation. It seems some judges had already made up their minds on who should win the league,” he told Standard Sports.
Kenya Police got 24 points against rivals KDF’s 20 to win the Coastal League Championships.
The soldiers last won the league at the Madison Square Garden in Nakuru in 2015. The policemen had won the title for seven consecutive years – from 2007 to 2014.
Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) President John Kameta said the matter would be investigated.
“The matter is under investigation and tough measures will be taken on culpable officials,” he said.
The KDF team won the first, third and fourth legs of the league in Kisumu, Thika and Nakuru before Police turned the tables in the second and final legs (Nanyuki and Mombasa) to lead the standings with 103 points ahead of KDF on 102.
“The results of the Mombasa championships have really demoralised my players. This problem began at the semi-final stage and we cannot afford to move forward this way if we want to pick a formidable team for future international championships,” warned Maingi.
The association’s Technical Commission was using the league championships to select a provisional squad for next year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, from April.