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Kenyan athletes threaten boycott over allowances

The Kenyan government stepped in last Tuesday to head off a potential boycott of the Commonwealth Games by athletes by agreeing to pay the team's allowances.

Kenya will now be represented by 195 athletes in the July 23 to August 3 championships in Glasgow, Scotland. 

The athletes had demanded to be paid their full allowances upfront before departure, “as the government had failed to reward the athletes to the 2013 World cross country championships in Poland and the world track and field championships in Moscow.”

Kenya’s team captain, Ezekiel Kemboi raised the issue with sports minister Hassan Wario when the minister visited the team's training camp at the Kasarani stadium last week. 

But Kenya’s Commissioner of Sport, Gordon Oduor, said the government had now settled the allowances for the Rugby Sevens, Judo and Shooting teams who had left last Sunday without receiving their money. 

“We had a small hitch securing the money from the bank which was in foreign currency,” Oduor told AFP. 

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“We want to assure the rest of the team still in the Nairobi residential camp that they will receive their allowances in full before they travel to Glasgow at the end of the week. There should be no cause of alarm,” he said.