- The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) requested Caf to reschedule the fixtures of Africa Cup of Nations due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
FKF says that the decision was arrived at as a result of the government’s directive to ban all the international events as a way to take caution of the coronavirus epidemic. Kenya was scheduled to host Comoros on March 25 and depart to Comoros for a return leg 4 days later.
“The government gave a directive and we have no choice other than to obey. We have requested Caf to shelve the two matches as we are not sure if Comoros will be cleared to jet in. We are also not sure if we will be allowed to fly out for the return match. We are as well concerned with the health of our team. However, the team will continue with preparations as we wait for Caf’s response,” said FKF chief executive officer Barry Otieno.
As the match against Comoros is being rescheduled, the Africa Rugby Under 20 tournament famously known as Barthez Cup has also been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
A statement from the president of Rugby Africa, Babbou stated: “On behalf of the Rugby Africa executive committee, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kenya has issued an update on COVID-19 on March 6. 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 canceled, 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 said: “As the host union, the safety and welfare of the participants is important for us. 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.”
The Barthes Cup was scheduled to take place between April 19-26 at the RFUEA grounds. Therefore, the match won’t be played until further notice.