The Rwanda U23 National Football Team will not participate in the forthcoming Cecafa Challenge Cup due to be held this month in Bahir-Dar, Ethiopia, Federation of Rwanda Football Association has announced.
According to a statement released on Friday, Ferwafa’s decision has been precipitated by the surging coronavirus cases in the region.
“Fédération Rwandaise de Football Association would like to inform the general public and members of the media that due to the recrudescence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region and Rwanda particularly, which raises assumptions of the presence of the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta Variant.”
It added; “Reference is also made to the new Covid-19 preventive measures drawn by the Government of Rwanda imposing partial lockdown on most activities including contact and team sports as well as movement restrictions between districts, provinces and the City of Kigali.
The withdrawal of Rwanda is another blow to a tournament that has once been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisers had set July 3-18 as dates within which the competition was to be held but it was later pushed up to between 17th and 31st July,2021.
By press time, only twelve countries had confirmed participation. These include guests DRC, Uganda, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Burundi,Somalia, and hosts Ethiopia.
Relatedly, Ferwafa announced that Scandinavia WFC was as well pulling out of the CAF Women Champions League CECAFA Zonal Qualifiers 2021 scheduled for July 17th to August 1st 2021 in Kenya.
During the draws conducted yesterday (Thursday), Scandinavia were drawn in Group C alongside Vihiga Queens of Kenya, and FAD Club from Djibouti.
Confirming that the Council of Central and East African Football Associations secretariat had been notified of these unfortunate proceedings, Ferwafa retaliated the importance of its players’ safety.
“The health and safety of athletes and officials remains our utmost priority and are called to join hands in the fight against COVID-19.”