NAIROBI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — Rugby will become the second contact sport to be allowed to resume in Kenya after the government on Tuesday cleared the 2021 domestic season to kick-off in February.
The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) confirmed that the new season will be preceded by the top tier Kenya Cup qualifiers involving the top six teams from the 2019-20 division two to determine which sides will join the league.
“Following clearance from the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Heritage, the 2021 Kenya Cup season will kick off on Saturday 27 February 2021 and will run for 11 match days with the top four teams qualifying for the semifinals on Saturday 22 May,” KRU said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
It said the winners of the semifinal encounters will play in the Kenya Cup final on May 29.
A league curtain-raiser will follow the qualifiers between the Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup champions on Feb. 20.
“All fixtures will be played in adherence to existing COVID-19 protocols with no spectators in attendance,” the rugby governing body added.
The Kenya Cup was stopped abruptly after COVID-19 disrupted the global sporting calendar in March last year.
Kabras and KCB RFC ended the regular season at the top of the standings with a loss each with the former at the summit with 74 points, three above the titleholders.
KRU later declared there would be no league winners for the 2019-20 season.
The development comes just over a month after High-Performance Consultant Peter Harding joined KRU on a three-month, renewable secondment from World Rugby.
Harding is assisting the KRU to prepare its teams, specifically the KRU Women’s 7s for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Besides that, he will also assist the KRU women’s 15s team in their return to training and eventual preparation for the 2021 Rugby World Cup repechage qualifier against Colombia. Enditem