The 2020 edition of the Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship has been called off.
The annual championship that was set to tee off on March 12 – 15 has been put on hold in line with the Kenyan government directive banning meetings and conferences as a precautionary measure to avert any possible spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
Kenya is yet to report any case of the deadly bug that has reportedly killed close to 4,000 people globally.
“Kenya Open Golf Limited has received the Government of Kenya’s decision to postpone all conferences and meetings of an international nature in Kenya for the next 30 days, including the 2020 Magical Kenya Open, due to the ongoing global threat from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the organizers said Friday.
Kenya Open Golf Limited chairman Peter Kanyago has so far conveyed the Government of Kenya’s decision to the European Tour who are expected to announce new dates for the championship that gained (European) tour status last year.
“They (European Tour) have assured us of their full support and we will be announcing new dates for the championship in due course,” said Kanyago.
The tour had attracted over 200 entries where 144 European tour players were expected to take part in the championship with a total prize money of one million euros.
Among the professional players who were expected at the champions are Chinese duo of Haoton Li, who won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic tournament two years ago, and his compatriot Ashun Wu, a three time European Tour champion.
This is not the first major championship to have been affected by the virus that originated from China.
Other sporting events that has been affected by the epidemic so far, including the two legs of the HSBC World Rugby Series, the Japanese, Chinese as well as the North Korean leagues and some matches in the Italian Serie A.
The Kenya’s women beach volleyball team also failed to travel to Nigeria for the Olympics Qualifier after the government refused to fund them as a precautionary measure.
Last week, the Ministry of Sports released a statement warning team against non-essential travel to countries where the virus has been reported.
Nigeria is one of the few African countries that have reported Covid-19 cases so far. Others are Senegal, Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt and South Africa.