Rugby Africa, the administrative body for the Rugby Union within Africa has released a statement to all Unions notifying them of the cancellation of the 2019 Gold Cup tournament. This is as a result of the premature termination of Rugby Africa and Kwese Sports contract which has left a huge gap in the 2019 budget.
“In 2019, Rugby Africa must organize Olympic Qualifiers for men and women for Tokyo 2020 as well as the first African Qualifier tournament for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“We regret to inform you that the 2019 Silver Cup and 2019 Gold Cup tournaments are cancelled. Rugby Africa’s EXCO is currently working in conjunction with World Rugby to suggest other formats of fifteen-a-side competitions which will be financially viable in 2019 and won’t jeopardize the future of Rugby Africa’s competitions. At the same time, we are working on a new Rugby World Cup Qualifier model which needs to be sustainable, inclusive and attractive. Unions will be consulted in this process with an aim to release the final fixtures for 2020 in October 2019.
We understand that this decision may impact your own programme and will be a disappointment for your players. Rugby Africa’s EXCO in collaboration with Steph Nel – Rugby Service Manager Africa for World Rugby – have considered many different approaches and although it was a hard call to make, we felt that this was the only viable option. We do look forward to working with you on an exciting project for 2020.
We will come back to you shortly about possible other options for men’s fifteen-a-side competition in 2019 as well as the final dates and venues for the Olympic Qualifiers.” read the press statement sent to all Rugby Unions in Africa.