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Barthes Trophy postponed over coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – The deadly coronavirus continues to affect the sporting world with the latest development seeing Rugby Africa postpone Under-20 Barthes Trophy that was scheduled to be hosted in Nairobi from April 19 to 26 until further notice.

In consultation with Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and World Rugby, the decision was reached upon following the government’s directive to ban all conferences and events of international nature for 30 days.

“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,” President Rugby Africa Khaled Babbou, speaking on behalf of the Rugby Africa Executive Committee, said.

He added; “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,” he added.

KRU chief Oduor Gangla on his part stated; “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.”

Kenya are the defending champions of the Barthes Cup that they won last year for the first time after defeating powerhouse Namibia 21-18.

The coronavirus has already seen the Magical Kenya Open Golf tournament postponed as well as international events like the China Grand Prix, World Half Marathon, Hong Kong Sevens among others.

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