Kenya Open Golf postponed over COVID-19 fears

The European Tour confirmed the postponement of the 2020 Kenya Open Golf and said it would be reviewed in a month’s time. /PHOTO Courtesy: European Tour

Authorities have postponed indefinitely the 2020 Kenya Open Golf due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The golf tournament was scheduled to be held from March 12 to 15 at the Karen Country Club near the capital, Nairobi.

Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) in a statement said the decision to postpone the tournament was made in line with a government directive to have all gatherings of an international nature delayed.

“The Kenya Open Golf Limited respects the decision of the Government of Kenya and supports all efforts that safeguard our country against the possible entry of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” KOGL Chairman Peter Kanyago said in the statement.

Kanyago said the postponement had already been communicated to the European Tour.

The European Tour confirmed the postponement and said it would be reviewed in a month’s time.

“We understand and totally respect the decision made by the Government of Kenya in these difficult times,” Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour said.

“We are looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at some point later in the season, but that remains simply a possibility right now – we have no definitive plans at this stage.”

The COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in the city of Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, in December 2019. Experts have attributed the outbreak to a novel coronavirus that has since spread across China and abroad.

The outbreak has also affected other sporting events across Africa and beyond.

In Morocco, the football association ordered that all football games be played in empty stadiums in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Italy too has ordered matches be played in empty stadiums. The government there also ordered the closure of all schools and universities, and also banned all public gatherings.