Financial difficulties experienced by Uganda and Zimbabwe has prompted the cancellation of this year’s Victoria Cup, an annual competition between Kenya Uganda and Zimbabwe started three years ago.
A one-paragraph press statement from Kenya Rugby Union confirmed an earlier fear expressed by Sportsnewsarena.com that the compatition may not be played. Sasha Mutai, the KRU vice chairman under whose docket competition falls said that Uganda pulled out and ‘apparently’ Zimbabwe followed suit.
“It was untenable to play just one country and we have to follow this matter with the International Rugby Board,” Mutai told Sportsnewsarena.com.
This is the official stand by the KRU although there are credible reports that it was Kenya who scuttled this year’s Victoria Cup. While in Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Uganda had wanted the result of the Africa Rugby Confederation (CAR) cup final to count towards Victoria Cup instead of playing a home and away as per the fixtures.
The idea was to have a one-off game as neither Union was in no financial position to host or travel immediately after playing at the CAR Cup.
Both Uganda and Zimbabwe were agreeable but Kenya, after losing to Uganda in the first match declined. Kenya insisted on Uganda and Zimbabwe playing home and away.
As early as July 9, Zimbabwe had already raised the red flag about their participation in the Victoria Cup.
An article in a Zimbabwe's Sunday News detailed their financial difficulties. According to the paper Uganda and Kenya had already played their home and away matches which also doubled as the Elgon Cup and it was therefore left to Zimbabwe to play the two East African countries.
Uganda were said to be having financial problems and were unable to travel to Harare on July 21 as scheduled. Sables team manager Losson Mtongwiza was quoted by Zimbabwe’s NewsDay saying they do not have the funds.
“We are in trouble because we just don’t have the funding to either host or travel to fulfil matches,” he said. Victoria Cup is in its third year. Kenya won the inaugural one in 2010 and Zimbabwe were winners last year.
According to NewsDay, the match against Uganda has not been cancelled but pushed back and Zimbabwe were still expected to travel to Kenya to honor the match on July 28, 2012.
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