Nairobi, May 16 (IANS) Kenya’s iconic Safari Rally that was due to return to the World Rally Championship roster this year has been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers and government have confirmed.
Amina Mohamed, the sports cabinet secretary said on Friday the decision has arrived following an agreement between the Kenyan government, World Rally Championship (WRC) Promoter and the International Automobile Association (FIA), reports Xinhua news agency.
“We will continue to prepare for the event as groundworks are already in top-gear and look forward to welcoming rally officials, teams and enthusiasts to Kenya when the event is reconvened next year,” Mohamed said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
She noted that the decision was not a simple one to make.
The pronouncement considered the effect of the coronavirus disease on global economies, cross border travel and mass social engagements among other health-necessitated restrictions.
The east African event was due to return to the WRC calendar for the first time since 2002, scheduled as the eighth round on July 16-19 on the original WRC schedule.
The Kenya event is the third event to be called off this year after Rally Portugal, which was originally postponed before being canceled altogether, and Rally Chile, which was struck off the calendar back in November due to social unrest in the country.