BRU slams defiant clubs for ignoring Covid-19 directive

Monde Tabata.
Monde Tabata.
Image: Mark Andrews

Border Rugby Union administrator Monde Tabata has lashed out at two clubs that blatantly ignored the union's directive to suspend all rugby activities due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tabata confirmed that two clubs  played a friendly game in KwaNtonga over the weekend. He labelled the clubs' actions as irresponsible and careless.

Keiskammahoek Rugby Union (Keiru) spokesperson Zinzile Mhesele confirmed the game had been played but maintained that it had not been sanctioned by Keiru.

“This is irresponsible by the executive that allowed those matches to play and that includes both teams involved,” said Tabata.

“I don't want to name the teams involved because I do not want to be seen as shaming them. But they know who they are, and we want to appeal to them to stop now.”

Tabata said a circular had been sent to all structures of BRU last week, and he found it disappointing that clubs in Keiskammahoek had decided to host a tournament while all sports activities had either been canned or postponed.

He said all those who failed to abide by the rule would face consequences.

“In fact, what we'd like to do, is to advise the police in the area that if this kind of thing happens, the perpetrators should be arrested.

“Anyone who plays rugby while they are not supposed to must be arrested. This is a structure that is affiliated to Saru and the Saru directive says that no rugby is to be being played by anybody — at all levels.

“So these clubs were either defying that directive or they are ignorant.

“Both those things are unacceptable because a circular to advise the structures on what to do was sent to  everybody to ensure that this message was properly communicated.

“There's no excuse for what they did this past weekend.”

Mhesele said after receiving the notice to suspend all tournaments, the union went to clubs and explained the importance of not hosting any activities while the nation battles to curb the spread of Covid-19. They were shocked to learn that the two clubs had played without their blessing.

“We were supposed to have started with our league games by now, but we postponed everything after getting the notice from Border Rugby,” said Mhesele.

“As a result, we went on the radio to tell local clubs that all tournaments had been put on hold for now.

“So we are going to take steps as a sub-union to caution these clubs because they are putting our mother union in disrepute.”