By Spy Uganda
Kenya will host the Uganda national hockey men and women’s teams for friendly matches from March 18-21 at the Sikh Union, Nairobi.
Both countries booked slots for the next year’s Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Accra, Ghana.
The two were the only countries that had confirmed participation in North East Africa qualifiers that were scheduled for March 1-7 in Nairobi, thus prompting the Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) to cancel the event and give the two neighbours the greenlight to compete in the Cup of Nations.
Egypt, Burundi, Libya, Seychelles, Sudan, and Tanzania failed to confirm participation. Kenya Hockey Union secretary-general Wycliffe Ongori said they will use the friendly matches to gauge the capabilities of the new technical bench that was appointed last year.
“Uganda has been rising and their request to have build-up matches with our teams means a lot. We just want to see how the teams will perform under the new tacticians, and if we are on the right track,” said Ongori.
Fidhelis Kimanzi took over from Meshack Senge in the men’s team, while former international, Jackline Mwangi replaced Tom Olal in the women’s team.
In the meantime, the official said the union will have a meeting this Saturday at the City Park Stadium with team managers to discuss among other things next month’s league fixtures.
The KHU Premier League is set for April 3. Meanwhile, the Under-21 Africa Cup of Nations that was scheduled for March 22-28 in Ghana has been rescheduled for August at a yet-to-be-decided venue.
An AfHF statement read, “Further to below communication, and given the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak on our events hosts and participating national teams, this tournament has been postponed and a new bidding-to-host will be launched soon.”