World Rugby on Friday postponed the final rounds of the Men’s and women’s world sevens series and also terminated the men’s Under-20 World Championship amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The Men’s tournament was scheduled to be played in London while the women’s tournament was to be played in Canada and Paris. The tournament was scheduled to be played in the month of May, but now the officials have postponed all the events until the month of September. While the Singapore men’s tournament due to be played in April has been shifted to the October window.
World Rugby also canceled the Under-20 tournament in Italy during the month of June and July. Italy has been on high alert after over 47000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4032 deaths till now.
“We are in close dialogue with the IOC relating to ..options to replace the final repechage tournament, should that be required. We are considering all options to ensure a fair and credible conclusion to the qualification process.”
“To that end, the World Rugby executive committee is driving the implementation of a detailed action plan that will guide us through this challenging period as a sport unified across the international and domestic environments.” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
Bill Beaumont also said that World Rugby is in regular touch with the unions, regions and the players’ association over the wider global impact on rugby “including financial implications driven by government and health authority measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.”.
The qualifying tournaments of the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup and 2023 Rugby World Cup have also been postponed along with the repechage qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Tokyo 2020 committee is making efforts to make the event happen without any postponement. The deadly COVID-19 outbreak has affected the sporting events all over the world, causing financial losses to the sporting league organizers. People will be hopeful that the situation gets better in the coming days.