The Tunisian and South African rugby federations will host the Africa Women’s Sevens and Africa Men’s Sevens tournaments, respectively, which will serve as qualification events for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020
Aref Belkhiria, President of the Tunisian Rugby Federation says: “It is a great honor to be selected by Rugby Africa for the organization of the Africa Women’s Sevens tournament, qualifier event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The FTR has made all the arrangements necessary for this tournament to take place in very good conditions and to convey an excellent image of African women’s rugby. ”
This year, the tournament is extended to 12 teams with the return of South Africa who was unable to participate in the African tournament in 2018 and is one of the most serious contenders for the title. Even so, the competition will be fierce, with a strong Kenyan team, for example, who have been finalists of the Africa Women’s Sevens for several years now and the Tunisian women who have been loud and clear about their ambition to dominate on home soil. The Ghanaians picked up the 12th place upon decision by the Rugby Africa’s Competitions Committee.
Herbert Mensah, President of the Ghana Rugby Union, expressed his gratitude to Africa Rugby for their decision and believed it was as a result of the prominence given to the development of women’s Rugby in Ghana over the past 4 years. “The ladies have been at the forefront of the growth of Get Into Rugby. Ms. Rafatu Inusah was honoured at the Africa Women’s 7s in Botswana where she gave a commitment on behalf of Ghana Rugby to be ready to compete in in the continental competitions from 2019. Ghana has a fully fledged ladies 7s senior league with plans afoot for a 15 a side league to commence in the future. As a non Rugby playing nation the efforts in Ghana should serve as motivation for all nations. “explained Mensah.
The following month, it will be the turn of the men to compete for the title of Champion of Africa to secure a qualification for Tokyo. The teams finishing second and third will also be given one last chance at the world repechage tournament. South Africa’s qualification seems guaranteed since it is currently ranked 4th, with a comfortable lead over 5th place, in the World Series classification which comes to an end on June 2nd. In this case, it will not participate in the African qualifications, meaning that Africa will have at least two representatives in the Olympic tournament.
The Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, finalists of the Regional Sevens tournament held last September in Abidjan, have qualified as the 13th and 14th teams in the 2019 competition for the continent.
“These Olympic qualifiers will end the 2019 season in style and I thank the President of ANOCA Mr Berraf and the African National Committees that support our federations and teams in their preparation. Africa aims for high level and international recognition, and I believe Sevens rugby is the right format to promote and reveal our talents in Africa and especially as far as women’s rugby is concerned. I therefore extend my encouragements to all our athletes who are preparing for this event and expect high-level rugby in October in Tunisia and in November in South Africa, ” said Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou.
Africa Women’s Sevens:
Jemmel Municipal Stadium, Tunisia, 12 & 13 October 2019
Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Senegal, Botswana, Zambia, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Tunisia
Africa Men’s Sevens:
Bosman stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa: 8 & 9 November 2019
Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Ghana, Botswana, Mauritius, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa.