Nairobi Under-20 Africa Rugby Tournament postponed over Corona Virus fears

Kenya Under-20 Rugby players take on Namibia during the Barthes U20 trophy final in Nairobi in April 2019./ Photo Courtesy

By Correspondent

The 2020 edition of the Barthés under 20 Africa Rugby Tournament that was scheduled to take place in Nairobi from April 19, 22 to 26 has been called off due to corona virus fears as the novel COVID-19 sweeps across communities around the world. The rugby tournament, also known as U20 Barthés Trophy tournament, now stands postponed until further notice.

“The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kenya has issued an update on COVID-19 on the 6th of March. Among other points it states: ‘The Government has, with immediate effect banned all meetings, conferences and events of international nature in Kenya,’’ said Khaled Babbou, President Rugby Africa in a statement.

The statement pointed out that as much as Rugby Africa and the young players were looking forward to the continental U20 competition in Nairobi, there was need to take every precaution possible to protect the 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,” said Mr. Khaled.

“As a host union the safety and welfare of the participants is at the heart of our endeavors. 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,” said Mr. Oduor Gangla, Chairman of the Kenya Rugby Union

The Barthés Trophy is the only junior tournament in Africa and 8 national U20 teams compete for the title. Participating teams in 2020 (in order of the current ranking): Kenya, Namibia, Senegal, Madagascar, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia.

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