• The federation, while expressing disappointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive on March 26, said they are willing to comply with such a formula, just as religiously as they did with the previous direction by a committee instituted by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last year.
• KRU's concerns were amplified by AFC Leopards' chairman Dan Shikanda, who observed that, despite the significance of the recent Covid-19 restrictions, the sporting industry stands to lose significantly.
The Kenya Rugby Union have called on the government to formulate another ‘return to action’ formula in the wake of the recent wholesale ban on sports activities following a spike in coronavirus cases.
The federation, while expressing disappointment with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive on March 26, said they are willing to comply with such a formula, just as religiously as they did with the previous direction by a committee instituted by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last year.
KRU said they had already subjected players and match officials in the Kenya Cup to regular Covid-19 tests and had taken the necessary steps to avert a delicate situation, including contact tracing and re-testing in incidences where players tested positive for the virus.
“Sports federations had worked tirelessly to resume activities under the laid down guidelines,” said KRU in a statement. “At the time of the league’s suspension on March 26, we had conducted a total of 1,551 Covid-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests, 44 of which returned positive. This makes for a 2.8 per cent prevalence rate.”
“We have gone as far as postponing fixtures in instances we felt posed a health and safety risk. We have been prepared and remain prepared to run the game during this trying time.”
KRU said the decision — to indefinitely suspend sports activities — would negatively impact national teams’ preparations for a series of upcoming international competitions, most notably the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup.
“Kenya is also set to host the 2021 Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy and preparations had moved a notch higher with the formation of a government-backed Local Organizing Committee (LOC),” added KRU.
“Furthermore, the suspension of sporting activities poses a serious threat to the mental health and overall wellbeing of athletes and other sports practitioners. It is our humble plea that President Uhuru Kenyatta rescinds his decision to suspend sports activities, rugby included.”
KRU’s concerns were amplified by AFC Leopards’ chairman Dan Shikanda, who observed that, despite the significance of the recent Covid-19 restrictions, the sporting industry stands to lose significantly.
Shikanda observed that the government should put in place measures for return to action or help cushion the suffering players, referees and coaches.
“We want to thank the government for the efforts being made in helping to save lives. We, however, feel they should consider coming up with a special fund to support the industry,” said Shikanda.
“This is one of the largest industries in as far as youth employment is concerned and it has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. The government should chip in in order to keep the many people in the industry afloat.”
The former AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia player added that the indefinite break will affect the rhythm of his team and as well throw the national team’s preparations for the World Cup qualifiers, which begin in June, into disarray.
“However, I’m calling upon everyone in this industry to remain obedience and observe the laid down Ministry of Health Covid-19 containment measures which are best for our lives and also those of our loved ones,” said Shikanda.