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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya rugby 15s team to play Romania,
cancels three other friendlies

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday cancelled three international friendly rugby 15s matches against Namibia, British Army and South Africa’s Loftus 2000 because of financial constraints.

Kenya Rugby Union CEO Sylvia Kamau confirmed that they are facing financial challenges and will not be able to meet the 300,000 U.S. dollars budget for the team’s preparations for the 2019 World Cup repechage qualifying matches in Marseille, France, against Germany, Canada and China’s Hong Kong.

However, the match against Romania in Bucharest next month will go on.

“Namibia have confirmed that the game is off while British Army and Loftus 2000 have failed to raise the team to travel to Nairobi of the clash,” said Kamau.

“We still need to have the best preparations for the team ahead of the repechage and we will have two matches in Bucharest against Romania A and another one in France.”

The repechage world cup qualifier will be in Marseille from Nov. 11-23.

Kenya had been set to play British Army on Oct. 17 followed by Africa champions Namibia on Sunday (Oct. 21) and South African outfit Loftus 2000 on Oct. 28. Now all the three matches have been cancelled.

Kenya’s head coach Ian Snook had expressed his desire to have more matches for the team ahead of their trip to Marseille.

On Monday, the New Zealand coach looked on without help as his team boycotted training in demand of their unpaid three-month salaries and allowances.

The Kenyan government has promised Harambee Stars 500,000 dollars if they beat Ghana, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia to qualify for the Africa Nations Cup, yet nothing has been given to the rugby 15s national team, who want to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

KRU presented a budget of 600,000 dollars to the government, but it was cut down to about 360,000 dollars and not a single cent has been channeled to the team so far.

The Kenya rugby 15s team starts its repechage campaign against Canada on Nov. 11 before meeting Hong Kong on Nov. 17 and finish it up with Germany on Nov. 23.

The winner of the round robin competition will secure the final ticket to compete in the World Cup in Japan and will be entered in the same pool that has New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia.

             

 

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