Hosts Kenya postpones Africa hockey Cup of Nations qualifiers

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NAIROBI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has postponed the hockey North East regional qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which was to be held in Nairobi from May 11-17.

The move follows a directive by the African Hockey Federation (AHF), which has announced that all competition in the continent will be pushed back to offer governments a chance to focus on the fight against coronavirus.

AHF president Seif Ahmed said all African hockey events in 2020 have been postponed until further notice and another update would be made by the end of April.

"Given the worldwide development of the coronavirus outbreak and following the WHO, International Olympic Committee (IOC) directives as well as the measures taken by the governments of our events hosting countries with respect to holding any sports or gatherings-related activities, this is to announce that all AHF 2020 tournaments dates will be postponed until further notice," Ahmed said on Thursday.

Kenya was due to stage the North East regional qualifiers, which would have seen the men's team take on Burundi, Libya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles and hosts Kenya, and the women's competition had attracted teams from hosts Kenya, Egypt, Burundi, Libya, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Also postponed is the North-West region competition in Ghana from June 14-21 while the Central-South region was to be staged in Zimbabwe.

AHF said only the top two nations from each gender will precede to next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

At the same time, Africa Cup for Clubs Championship set for Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Malawi, the Junior Africa Cup set for Sept. 13-20 in Ghana as well as Indoor Africa Cup for June 12-14 in Durban South Africa have also been postponed.

"The well-being of our players, coaches, officials, managers and administrators is our ultimate aim and is our first priority whilst planning any sports events, historically or in future," Ahmed said.

Moses Majiwa, Kenya Hockey Union deputy match and fixture secretary, said the country will wait for the April decision by the continental body before setting new dates for the event.

"Kenya has issued a 30-day suspension of all international travel. We will review then if they open up," said Majiwa. Enditem

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