Kenya Cup to proceed without four clubs, KRU rules out punishment

Kenya Cup to proceed without four clubs, KRU rules out punishment

Kenya Rugby Union won’t victimize or relegate the four teams that withdrew from the 2021 Kenya Cup ahead of the kickoff this weekend.

This is according to KRU Chairman Gangla Oduor who says it has been ‘tough’ for clubs due to Covid 19 pandemic and they’ll respect the clubs decisions.

“We respect the decisions of the clubs, if a club makes a decision that they won’t play in the league, there is very little we as KRU can do having in mind that this is a Covid 19 year, so we’re not going to victimize any team,” said Oduor.

He added that the union understands the challenges clubs are facing due to the pandemic and won’t relegate teams this season.

“We understand Covid has affected people in different ways, the pain of one club is the pain of the other club; that’s why we decided we won’t relegate clubs this season,” added Oduor.

Ngong road based sides Nondescripts, Impala Saracens, Homeboyz and Stanbic Mwamba will not take part in the 2021 Kenya Cup.

According to this club’s management they are saying their clubs are not ready to start a new season while others are saying the union is supposed to be responsible if someone is affected by the virus.

Gangla Oduor has a different opinion saying the clubs should be responsible for their player’s welfare adding that clubs had enough time to prepare following the government protocols to fight with the virus.

“The clubs wrote a statement giving reasons on whether it’s the right time to play rugby during the pandemic and who is responsible if something goes wrong, we as KRU we’re only a facilitator and the clubs should be responsible for their own expenses,” explained Oduor.

“In November last year teams were allowed to train following the government protocols, so how come the four teams are not prepared while the other eight are ready to play?” questioned Oduor.

Oduor however believes that Covid won’t end soon so it’s better for the four teams to come in agreement with the union and change their mind and play this season.

Also backing calls for agreement is former KCB player Mike Shamiah.

“The withdrawal of the four teams will affect the league because when the clubs are fewer in the league the competition goes down but I think their decision should be respected because of their players welfare,” said Shamiah.

“I don’t think all the teams have fully prepared for the league since there are things that the union want the teams to have in hand, so if the team is ready the results will show up in future,” added Shamiah.

Shamiah who is the KCB strength and conditioning coach says it’s better for the league to start with all the teams on board to make the competition more interesting and competitive.

The first round of matches will be played this weekend with eight teams featuring; KCB, Kabras Sugar, Top Fry Nakuru, Menengai Oilers, Blak Blad, Kenya Harlequin, Strathmore Leos and MMUST playing in a round robin format.