The Kenya Rugby Union has announced the cancellation of this year’s Safari Sevens tournament.
The annual Nairobi event, which usually brings together rugby fans across Kenya as well as teams from all around the world, was said to have been called off due to the “prevailing political climate”.
The Kenya Rugby Union in a statement on Friday said:
“Due to the political mounting challenges and uncertainty in the country, the KRU through consultations with its both external and internal stakeholders decided to postpone the event”.
The tense political climate which has been occasioned by the repeat presidential elections set to take place on October 26 made it untenable.
Safari Sevens was scheduled for November 4-5 at the RFUEA grounds in Nairobi, rugby’s spiritual home. The event once hailed as Africa’s Premier Rugby Sevens tournament moved to Kasarani Stadium in 2010 but failed to attract as many fans leading organizers to bring it back to its traditional home.
Following the statement released by the Kenya Rugby Union, Buzzkenya has found that there could be other factors that led to the cancellation of the tournament.
Reports have pointed to the emergence of another international rugby tournament scheduled for the same dates in the United States.
The inaugural Silicon Sevens tournament held in the San Francisco Bay Area of California prompted major teams to pull out of the Safari Sevens tournament, leaving the organizers with no option but to cancel.
Some of the teams which were expected to grace Safari Sevens including the United States, Canada, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, Ireland and England are poised to head to California, USA, to participate in that tournament.
Former Kenya Sevens head Coach Mike Friday will lead the USA rugby team on their home turf, as they bid to claim the honors. USA had confirmed participation in the Kenyan event as early as March, but pulled out at the last minute, opting to feature in their own event.