The 2021 edition of Heroes Cup Tournaments have been cancelled due to the spike in Covid-19 infections, Times Sport has established.
The annual sports events are organized by the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO), which awards all tournament winners, in collaboration with different sports federations to celebrate National Heroes' Day.
They are traditionally played in January with finals taking place on February 1, the official national Day during which Rwandans celebrate heroes' day.
"Some of the tournaments are supposed to have started but in reference to the current situation of the pandemic, we decided to cancel this year's tournaments," said Nicholas Rwaka, the CHENO Director or Research.
Last year, the competitions were organized in different disciplines namely football, basketball, volleyball, cycling, handball and sitting volleyball but none of these tournaments is taking place due to Covid-19.
The Rwanda Premier League, too, which had started on December 4, was eventually suspended after three match days after it was found that some players and clubs had violated covid-19 guidelines, which resulted in new cases.
The decision came after 12 Rayon Sports players tested positive for Covid-19 after the club's 1-1 draw against Rutsiro FC on December 4 in Rubavu while further joint inspections by the Ministry of Sports in partnership with health authorities discovered that some top-flight teams were issuing fake Covid-19 certificates for their players.
"We have no idea when other sporting disciplines will resume as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. We can't hold these tournaments in such a situation," he added.
Rwaka revealed that his office even considered a possibility to organise a cycling tournament but the idea couldn't materialize after the government imposed the ban on inter-district movements as the country stepped up the Covid-19 fight.
The competition, he said, will only be organised in music and poetry.