Africa’s Rugby governing body, Rugby Afrique, has earlier today announced financial aid to its member unions.
Given the current health crisis that has swept the world all over, Rugby Afrique Executive Committee has approved the immediate release of €170,000 ( approx. UGX 716 Million) from a solidarity fund.
The funds are to support the unions in areas where they deem the need for urgent intervention. These include but are not limited to food packages, meals, or PPE (masks, hand sanitizer gels, etc.) Clubs and players will also benefit from emergency food and medical support.
This rugby aid comes from unused grants and reserves with World Rugby and each union, depending on the category, will receive between EUR 2000 to EUR 5000. Unions were categorized according to their number of players and clubs as well as the level of rugby development.
This will be a supplement to the efforts of various governments and unions to support their federations like we have seen in Kenya already.
Khaled Babbou, the Rugby Africa President, said: “As centers of shared values, and spaces for individual and group development, our federations play a key role in rugby’s success in Africa. More than ever, the current health crisis is having a major impact on all federations and their clubs, their coaches, and their players – the pillars of Rugby Africa.”
“This financial support supplements a range of initiatives already rolled out to boost our rugby community and highlights the shared values and cooperation dear to our organization. We must also stand together and continue to do everything we can to support those combating the pandemic.”
Rugby in Uganda, in particular, has been on hold since 18th March following government directives. Rugby Africa, though, is planning safe, practical protocols at local levels to get the game played again.
The financial aid comes only hours after the body announced the cancelation of the 2020 international season. Rugby Afrique would however support cross-border competitions or regional competitions organized by unions if the current situation brought about by COVID-19 improves to enable matches to take place.
Member Unions of Rugby Afrique: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo Brazaville, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Egypt, Eswatini, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.