Countries have started arriving in Gaborone ahead of the Africa Karate Championships (UFAK), which kicked off with referees and coaches courses today.
Burkina Faso, DRC, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Madagascar, Tunisia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Zambia have already arrived.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Dr Edwin Dikoloti said 14 countries have arrived but 28 countries have registered for the championship. Dikoloti said they expect all countries that have registered to be present, with some arriving by road. Flight schedules present a headache for most participating countries, with some forced to arrive early.
The athletes’ village at University of Botswana (UB) has elicited mixed views with complaints that it was not suitable to accommodate athletes because it does not have warm water, among others.
It is reported that countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco shunned the athletes’ village. Most of the complaints were
“Athletes village is on first come first served basis. Teams should arrange their own accommodation. We just wanted to assist to make accommodation affordable,” Dikoloti said.
Dikoloti said the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) had informed him that they are not aware of any complaints about the accommodation facility. “It is not like we are using something that has not been in use. I have requested BOKA to attend to Team Botswana complaints,” Dikoloti said.
Some of the top karate delegates who have already arrived include World Karate Federation (WKF) president, Antonio Espinos, UFAK president, Mesbahi Mohamed Tahar and his executive committee and Commonwealth Karate Federation president, Sonny Pillay is also expected to arrive for the tournament.