Virus Scuppers Rugby Africa tournament
The annual Barthés Trophy tournament for Under-20 teams has been postponed because of fears for problems caused by the corona virus
Eight countries were due to participate in the tournament in Kenya – Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The tournament is postponed “until further notice”.
In consultation with Kenya Rugby Union and World Rugby, Khaled Babbou, President Rugby Africa has issued the following statement: “The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kenya has issued an update on COVID-19 on 6 March. Among other points it states: ‘The Government has, with immediate effect banned all meetings, conferences and events of international nature in Kenya.’
“As much as Rugby Africa, the host and most of all the young players are looking forward to the continental U20 competition in Nairobi, we need to take every precaution we possibly can from our side to protect our players and support the fight against the Coronavirus as set out by the authorities. The tournament is not cancelled, but only postponed to a later date which we will communicate in due time. We thank the Kenyan Rugby Union for their tremendous support.”
Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Oduor Gangla accepted the decision, saying: “As a host union the safety and welfare of the participants is at the heart of our endeavours. We support Rugby Africa and the Kenyan authorities in their protective measures to our best abilities and therefore fully support the decision to postpone the U20 Barthés Trophy.”
Information from Rugby Africa which has 39 members