The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has announced the cancellation of all league and cup competitions this season due to the coronavirus crisis.
This includes the Kenya Cup, KRU Championship, nationwide leagues, Enterprise and Mwamba cup tournaments.
In a statement on Thursday, KRU secretary Ian Mugambi said the cancellation means there will be no promotion or relegation in any of the leagues, with all teams remaining in their current division.
“We are in challenging times with the worldwide breakout of the novel coronavirus. This has caused untold disruption and presented us with a very challenging environment. Sporting activities have not been spared from its debilitating impact,” said Mugambi.
“This situation has affected our way of life, meaning no training, rugby events or matches are feasible in the foreseeable future.”
KRU postponed the leagues immediately after the government issued a directive following Kenya registering its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.
Both the Kenya Cup and KRU Championship were due for the play-offs on March 14, with the semi-finals due on March 21. The finals had been planned for April 4.
The Enterprise Cup semi-finals were set for March 28, with the final scheduled for April 18.
At the point of disruption, the leagues were at the play-off stages and none of the leagues had qualified winners.
Mugambi said the KRU board was particularly aware of the impact on clubs, sponsors and fans with the potential to be promoted or win competitions.
“This decision is not intended to in any way diminish the games that have already taken place or the efforts of everyone involved. A range of options were explored as far as possible and a broad consensus was reached across the game as to the most appropriate outcome,” said Mugambi.
“But in the end, we have had to make the decision to ensure we play our part in safeguarding lives.
“Our primary concern remains the health and safety of all our stakeholders – the players, technical teams, officials, fans as well as groundsmen and security personnel.”
Mugambi said any decision on the resumption of any rugby activities and fixtures would be subject to direction and guideline by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sports.
“Finally, let us continue to practise the COVID-19 measures spelt out by the government to try and curb the disease.”
Kenya’s Ministry of Health said on Thursday that so far the country had 184 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo