What you need to know:
- Gangla said the Union was consulting clubs and will issue a formal position by early next week on return of play.
- “Thereafter, we will determine what happens to the leagues.”
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) want the government to drastically reduce the cost of testing for Covid-19 for athletes ahead of the anticipated resumption of sports in the country.
The union chairman Oduor Gangla Tuesday said that sportspeople will not be able to pay bills of between Sh8,000 and Sh10,000 per person private tests, which are supposed to be done twice a month.
“We have not quantified the cost implications so far. But, testing is certainly very expensive and we would hope that the government can reduce the cost of tests. Athletes should get a deal similar to what was offered to the hospitality industry. One test at Sh8,000 to Sh10,000 is out of reach of most Kenyans,” said Gangla.
In May, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala announced a revision of the testing cost downwards to Sh1,000 to boost the hospitality industry, which was one of sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.
The Ministry of Sports released draft protocols to be observed before any resumption of sports amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Federation are supposed to make their import on the proposals within a week before the government issues the final guidelines for sports to restart in the country.
All calendars were suspended in March in line with Ministry of Health guidelines. Golf was however given the green light to resume activities on June 19 under social distancing rules.
On Monday, the KRU Director of Competitions Hillary Itela admitted that the biggest challenge facing rugby, and sportspeople in general, was testing.
“The cheapest test is Sh8,000 per person. Do that twice a month, that is Sh16,000 per person. Do the mathematics for every player listed per club to see the exposure.
“This is not inclusive of the PPEs, medical care in case of exposure and struggling sponsors due to the commercial impact of covid-19. That gives you the full challenge we have because a team’s squad varies from 30 per team to 130 depending on size and division,” said Itela.
Those figures translate the amount of money a club will spend on coronavirus testing alone to between Sh480,000 and Sh2.1 million per month.
On whether 2019-2020 KRU competitions which remain suspended since March due to coronavirus pandemic will resume, Itela noted, “It depends on exact cost of nature of the protocols, particularly depending on the PPE, testing and the ability of the teams to afford.”
Gangla said the Union was consulting clubs and will issue a formal position by early next week on return of play.
“Thereafter, we will determine what happens to the leagues.”
Teams in the playoffs (Kabras Sugar, KCB, Homeboyz, Impala Saracens, Mwamba and Menengai Oilers) are understood to be pushing for the completion of the top-tier league (Kenya Cup).