Possible outright cancellation of Olympic Games

An Iranian woman wearing face mask sits in a bus on a street of Tehran, Iran. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

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A large number of the year’s prestigious sporting events are at risk as the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, with the organisers of the Six Nations, the Cheltenham Festival, the Giro d’Italia, Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics all closely monitoring the situation after a significant increase in the number of cases worldwide.

The opening three races of the Formula One season, in Australia, Bahrain and Vietnam, could follow the Chinese Grand Prix by being postponed. Ferrari have announced the suspension of non-critical business travel as well as the restriction of external access to its factory in Maranello, 87 miles from the Italian outbreak in Codogno.

Uefa is monitoring the latest developments with regard to Euro 2020, with seven matches scheduled to take place at Wembley and four at Hampden Park, with another 10 host cities spread across the continent. There is also concern the Olympic Games could be affected after new cases in Japan were confirmed and the domestic top-flight football competition was called off until next month.

Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, said outright cancellation of the Games, rather than postponement or relocation, would be likely if the disease proved too dangerous for the event – which is scheduled to start on 24 July – to go ahead. He estimated there is a three-month window – perhaps a two-month one – to decide the fate of the Tokyo Games, meaning a decision could be put off until late May.

“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’” Pound told Associated Press.

Rea more via The Guardian

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