NAIROBI, Kenya- The Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has announced new dates for the annual Safari 7s tournament due to the repeat Presidential Election set for October 26.
The new date will see the high profile tournament postponed by a week from November 3 to 5 to the weekend of November 10 to 12.
According to KRU boss Richard Omwela, the decision was reached by the Board who unanimously agreed that it will be risky to hold the international tourney a few days after the poll.
“We know according to law, the results can take up to seven days to be announced. Therefore, it will greatly affect the tournament, we saw it wise to postpone it,” Omwela stated.
Omwela further revealed that nine nations have confirmed participation in the tournament.
“South Africa will send their top provincial sides eastern Province and Golden Warriors. So far Australia, Samurai, Fiji, Portugal, Germany, Hong Kong, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, have confirmed they will grace the tourney. We expect the number to go slightly higher,” the KRU chief added.
Omwela declared nothing will change from the previous editions as Kenya is expected to field two teams; Shujaa and Morans for the event.
Meanwhile, as the tournament plans to return to the RFUEA grounds for the first time in over seven years, KRU Vice-president Thomas Opiyo confirmed plans are underway to increase the capacity of the ground.
“We expect more fans since RFUEA is regarded as the home of rugby in the country after taking Safari to Nyayo and Kasarani Stadium previously. This is a great idea to return the sport to Ngong road,” said Opiyo.
Friday tickets will retail at KSh 500 with regular entry capped at KSh 1500 on Saturday and Sunday. Fans will fork KSh2500.
Safari 7s is the latest high profile sporting event to be affected as the anxiety over the presidential rerun in the country escalates following the September 1 decision by the Supreme Court of Kenya to nullify the August 8 election of incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta.
On Wednesday, organisers of the annual Stanchart Nairobi Marathon announced the race would be moved forward to November 29 while the ICC World Cricket Challenge clash between Kenya and Netherlands that was to be played this weekend in Nairobi will now be hosted in New England, South Africa.