MONACO – The Ugandan national 7s team was thrown out of the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, which start in Monaco, France after to the biggest number of players tested positive for coronavirus.
The World Rugby governing body – IRU – ruled that Uganda could not be allowed to take part in the qualifiers that run from June 18-20.
Uganda’s team that was already in Monaco was thrown out on Thursday following a number of positive Covid-19 test results during scheduled arrival testing.
Uganda was due to play Chile, France, Hong Kong and Jamaica in pool B of the competition in a bid to secure a ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to take place next month in Japan.
“In accordance with tournament regulations, the Uganda men’s team has been ‘withdrawn’ from the World Rugby Sevens competition in Monaco from 18-20 June following a number of positive Covid-19 results determined during scheduled arrival testing,” said a statement from the World Rugby body.
The tournament Covid-19 protocols implemented by World Rugby and the hosts, which included pre-departure and on arrival PCR testing, revealed the positive results in the Uganda delegation, although the organizing committee never revealed the number of players who tested positive.
The World Rugby body however said that all Ugandan players have been in strict isolation since arrival, and the delegation will continue to follow the isolation quarantine process as determined by the Monaco authorities’ public health guidelines.
Now, according to the tournament rules, the pool stage matches involving Uganda will be recorded as a “bye” for their opponents in Pool B – Chile, France, Hong Kong and Jamaica.
The International body will however provide full medical and operational support to ensure the health and well-being of the Ugandan delegation during their period of isolation according to statement released by the competition organizers.
This is the third Ugandan national team to be thrown out of an international competition because of positive Covid-19 cases. The first was the Uganda National Basketball team, Silverbacks whose Afro basket qualifier games were postponed in February 2021 while in Tunisia.
Later, the women’s cricket pulled out from Kwibuka Women’s International T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda few weeks ago after several players tested positive for Covid-19.