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Africa's rugby regional challenge aims at boosting the sport in the continent

Africa's rugby regional challenge aims at boosting the sport in the continent

Rugby

The Rugby Africa Regional Challenge (RARC) kicked-off in Ghana on Sunday, April 30.

The tournament forms part of the continent’s annual rugby calendar where Ghana, Benin and Togo are set to compete at this year’s event.

Rugby is gradually gaining foothold in the continent. There are about 34 countries that play Rugby in Africa and organizers are trying to boost the sport .

“As a country, we haven’t evolved to the point of planning what is required for everybody, we plan for football and then we plan for nothing else. So all minority sports receive nothing, so if you really understand that everybody is different, we may be great at other sports, netball, basket ball, rugby, whatever, then you really need to campaign until the time that the officialdom understands that for every sport you need to allocate a certain amount of money,” said Herbert Mensah, president of Ghana’s Rugby Football Union.

Organisers say it has been difficult to host the tournament with limited funding and little government support. In Benin the situation is the same as the coach of Benin’s rugby football team, Kossou Euloge, explains.

“At the moment, we don’t have sponsors; our main source of resources is from the government. So we are trying to look for sponsors. Because rugby is not developed, it’s not by losing a match that we will get sponsors. So we will try and win more matches to attract more people to watch rugby.”

The triangular tournament which ends on May 7 will see the winners of the final match between Ghana and Togo, advance their chances of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Three other RARC tournaments will be held in Burundi, Lesotho and Niger.