The first stage of the qualifications for the 2020 Olympic Games gets underway

With two regional rugby sevens tournaments, the first of which begins on Saturday (September 15th) in Abidjan, Rugby Africa is launching the first round of qualifications for the men’s Olympics

True to the spirit of the Olympics, Rugby Africa opened the competition as wide as possible to give the greatest number of people the opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. An invitation was sent to all Rugby Africa federations not already qualified for the main African rugby tournament. Those who accepted were entered into the competition for the first round of the Olympic qualifications for the men’s rugby sevens.

Teams from Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Niger and Mali will compete on September 15th and 16th in Abidjan. Initially scheduled to take place at the Champroux Stadium in Marcory, spectators should note that the tournament might be moved to the INJS pitch.

On the 29th and 30th of September, the national selections of Burundi, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho will meet at the Bujumbura Tempête Stadium to meet the same challenge.

In addition to being promoted in the Africa Men’s Sevens 2019 tournament to choose the African representative for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, these tournaments represent an opportunity for Rugby Africa’s technical staff to evaluate talent and provides a gateway to the first level of competition for the fifteens, the Rugby Africa Bronze Cup.

The aim is also to maximise the benefit of these opportunities where players get together to organise training at all levels around the tournament. To this end, Salem Attalah, a former Top 14 referee in France, is running a skill-building course for North and West African referees. The coaches were able to benefit from a level 2 training course devoted to rugby sevens. Rugby Africa’s medical committee is also working on a first-aid training course for rugby as well as a more advanced Level 2 course for all team doctors. The declared priority for Rugby Africa is the safety of the players and its objective is to ensure that an appropriate medical response is available in all the rugby federations.

“We are getting ready for a fantastic celebration of rugby in Abidjan and I congratulate all the federations present, which, for the most part, have limited resources and have made enormous efforts to mobilize their teams and make the trip. Their passion of rugby is strong and the stakes are high for the teams participating in the tournament. Ivory Coast and Nigeria will be keen to prove that they deserve to return to the African tournament where they used to play ; but all of the other teams will be doing their best to thwart them and take their place! I am also eager to discover the Guinean selection who will be participating for the first time in one of our competitions after joining Rugby Africa at the end of 2016,” the Rugby Africa President, Abdelaziz Bougja, said on the ground in Abidjan.

Tournament Program 

Saturday, September 15

MatchDrawEquipesDurationKO Time
M 1A1  vs  A4Ivory Coast vs Guinea22 mn10 : 00
M 2A2  vs  A3Burkina Faso   vs   Mali22 mn10 : 22
M 3B1  vs  B4Nigeria   vs   Niger22 mn10 : 44
M 4B2  vs  B3Algeria   vs   Benin22 mn11 : 06
                                         Break 122 mn11 : 28
M 5A1  vs  A3Ivory Coast  vs   Mali22 mn11 : 50
M 6A2  vs  A4Burkina Faso   vs   Guinea22 mn12 : 12
M 7B1  vs  B3Nigeria   vs  Benin22 mn12 : 34
M 8B2  vs  B4Algeria   vs   Niger22 mn12 : 56
                                          Break 222 mn13 : 18
M 9A1  vs  A2Ivory Coast   vs   Burkina Faso22 mn13 : 40
M10A3  vs  A4Mali   vs   Guinea22 mn14 : 02
M11B1  vs  B2Nigeria   vs   Algeria22 mn14 : 24
M12B3  vs  B4Benin   vs   Niger22 mn14 : 46
                                                         End of the first day15 : 08

Sunday September 16

½ finals

MatchLevelDrawDurationKO Time
M 131/2 FinalsCup   1st pool A      vs      2nd  pool B22 mn11 : 00
M 14    1st pool B      vs      2nd  pool A11 : 22
M 15½ FinalesPlate  3rd Pool A      vs      4th Pool B11 : 44
M 16  3rd Pool B      vs      4th Pool A12 : 06
                                         Break  60 mn12 : 28

Ranking matches + final

MatchLevelDrawDuration  KO Time
M 177th – 8thLooser M 15    vs   Looser  M 1622 mn13 : 28
M 185th – 6thWinner M15   vs    Winner M1613 : 50
M 193rd – 4thLooser M 13     vs    Looser M 1414 : 12
                                                                      Break  10 mn14 : 34
M 20Final Winner  M13   vs   Winner M 14    22 mn14 : 44
                                               End of the tournament15 : 08