CAPE TOWN — Rugby Africa has indefinitely postponed the U20 Barthés Trophy due to the coronavirus and related health concerns.
In consultation with Kenya Rugby Union and World Rugby, the following statement has been issued: Khaled Babbou, President Rugby Africa 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 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.’
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.”
Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Oduor Gangla concluded: “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.”
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.