Rwanda has been eliminated from the 2021 Women’s Volleyball African Nations Championship as the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) continues to investigate allegations that the hosts fielded ineligible players.
The development was announced in a communique issued by the Ministry of Sport, on Sunday, September 19.
According to a statement seen by Times Sport, the Ministry of Sports revealed that it had decided to take over the management of the ongoing African volleyball championship, which will be completed without the participation of the national women’s volleyball team.
Rwanda was slated to play the last game in group A against Senegal on September 16 but the game was suspended following a complaint filed by Nigeria, challenging the nationality of players who featured for the Rwandan national side.
The complaint was accepted by the African Volleyball Federation (CAVB), meaning that the players in question are suspended as well as the Rwandan Volleyball Federation (FRVB). Furthermore, the host, who secured a place in the semi-finals, lost all the matches played so far by forfeit.
The complaint led to a three-day stalemate which saw the International Federation for Volleyball (FIVB) insist on Rwanda being banned from the competition and previous games forfeited for flouting rules even though Rwanda protested the decision.
The four players in question are; right-attack Aline Siqueira, center Apolinario Caroline Taina, setter Mariana Da Silva and left-attack Moreira Bianca Gomes.
They were all making their debut for Rwanda in international volleyball.
The home side had qualified for the last four slot on Monday after beating Nigeria in straight sets to make it two wins in two games, having outclassed Morocco.
Rwanda insisted that correct procedures were followed in regards to fielding players whose nationality came into question. The African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) was in favour of suspending the players in question and allowing Rwanda to continue participating in the competition.
According to article 2.4.1 of the FIVB Sports Regulations, a player’s Federation of Origin is the first federation to issue a national license or otherwise register the player within its federation, which was not done in the case of the players in question.
The rule indicates that a player for the national team must have registered to play for a club, team, school or any other volleyball entity that is affiliated either directly or indirectly within the Federation. This was not the case for the Rwandan players.
In the event that a national team fields an ineligible player, Article 12.2 of the FIVB Disciplinary regulations applies.
Both the players and federation are suspended for flouting this rule.