Considering the current situation and in consultation with member federations, Rugby Africa has opted to cancel all its competitions, including the Rugby Africa Cup which was due to kick off on 30 May.
The decision to cancel the competitions follows a joint agreement reached with the federations consulted on 7 and 8 May. These bodies want to be able to focus on resuming their activities in the final quarter of 2020, if possible. After assessing the pandemic’s impact on the sports industry, and in particular on rugby, and studying the various options, Rugby Afrique revealed the following considerations led to matches being cancelled:
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- The current bans on travel, public gatherings and sporting events across Africa mean it is unlikely competitions will start up again on the continent this year.
- Not all African nations will lift restrictions at the same time, or in the same way. This would compromise some countries’ participation.
- Travel costs are expected to increase significantly.
- Potential quarantine requirements could require some players to spend much longer periods abroad.
Head of the Rugby Afrique Medical Committee, Dr Elvis Tano, spoke about the decision.
“The health and safety of our players, fans, staff, partners and local communities remains our top priority. There is still too much uncertainty what course the pandemic will take over the next few weeks to feel confident about resuming competition.”…he noted
Rugby Afrique Vice President Andrew Owor also spoke about the decision revealing the difficulty that with making it.
“This is certainly one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make but it also seems to be the most reasonable option given the current circumstances. We clearly had plenty of reasons to resume the 2019-20 season, but considering the exceptional situation, we must prioritise our community’s health first and foremost.”….he said
“However, we still hope to be able to organise some matches this year. Over the next few months, we have a single mission: to do our utmost to help our communities to come back stronger and get local-level competition up and running as soon as possible. Given Africa’s size and diversity, a localised approach makes sense.” …he further stated
By Leroy Hawkson | Sports Reporter