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Wimbledon 2020 cancelled, Women’s Euro 2021 postponed

By 1st April 2020 No Comments

Two more huge sporting events affected by the coronavirus pandemic

In somewhat inevitable news, the All England Club (AELTC) announced earlier today that Wimbledon 2020 wouldn’t go ahead – the first time the iconic tennis competition has been cancelled since World War II.

A decision has also been made to move the Women’s European Championship 2021, to be held in England, back to the summer of 2022. The tournament finals have been pushed back to 2022 to accommodate the men’s European Championships and the Tokyo Olympics, which have been moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Wimbledon news hardly came as a shock. In a statement, the AELTC and the Committee of Management of The Championships announced the cancellation and gave the dates the next (134th) Championships would take place as 28 June to 11 July 2021.

The statement said:
“Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in January, we have followed guidance from the UK Government and public health authorities in relation to our year-round operations, alongside developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK.
This has enabled analysis of the impact of the Government restrictions on the usual commencement in April of the significant preparations required to stage The Championships, either on the original date of 29 June, or at a later date in the summer of 2020. These considerations are particularly related to the concerns brought about by mass gatherings and the strain on the medical and emergency services, as well as movement and travel restrictions both within the UK and around the world.
With the likelihood that the Government’s measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk – from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds – and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement.
Following a series of detailed deliberations on all of the above, it is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships. Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021.
We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders. In addition, we have taken account of the impact that this decision will have on those who rely on The Championships – including the players and the tennis community in Britain and around the world – and we are developing plans to support those groups, working in partnership with the LTA and the other leadership bodies in global tennis. This also applies to our loyal staff, to whom we take our responsibility very seriously.”

 

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