Coronavirus: WTA confirm second cancellation as F1 boss sends clear Australian GP message

Coronavirus: WTA confirm second cancellation as F1 boss sends clear Australian GP message

The WTA Tour have announced a second tournament has been cancelled amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. In the UK the number of people infected has climbed to 40 but in mainland China, the death toll has reached more than 3,000.

Governments across the world are scrambling to implement plans to deal with the virus.

In the sporting world, several sports have been forced to cancel events already and there are fears spectacles like Euro 2020 and the Olympics could be impacted in the summer.

In tennis, the WTA postponed the tournament in Xi’an, China from April 13-19.

And today, the association confirmed they were also cancelling the Kunming Open, which is due to be played in April.

The statement said: “The WTA has announced that the 2020 Kunming Open, a 125k WTA tournament in Anning, China scheduled for April 27-May 3 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainty around travel and travel restrictions.

“This is in addition to the cancellation announced February 20 of the 125k WTA tournament in Xi’an, China, originally scheduled for April 13-19.

“This decision has been made in the best interest of our players, tournament and WTA staff and fans.

“We look forward to competing in Anning in 2021 along with the 2020 WTA Tour events that are scheduled to take place this fall.

“At this stage, there is no indication of further travel bans, nor is there any indication that Formula One and the teams will not be arriving as usual. Formula One has again confirmed overnight that the Australian Grand Prix is going ahead.”

While a spokesperson for the Bahrain Grand Prix said: “The Bahrain International Circuit is working closely with all relevant government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, to mitigate the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Ministries have activated a number of public health measures, including but not limited to restricting travel from high-risk areas, introducing an extensive screening programme, and establishing quarantine facilities for suspected cases.

“It is in the context of these initiatives that the BIC is confident its preparations will result in a successful and safe Grand Prix later this month.”

Asked at Monday’s UEFA meetings if there is any concern the Euros will be postponed, Executive Committee member Alexey Sorokin said: “No – we don’t sense any panic. None whatsoever.

“The focus [of the meeting] was obviously not on coronavirus. Right now, the situation with the Euros is stable. I think we need to assess the situation as it develops.”

FA chairman Greg Clarke added: “We’re planning on the basis that the games will go ahead. If the government decides on a change of policy, of course we will adhere to that policy.

“Clarity soon is better, but the facts are changing so quickly, you can’t penalise the government for not quite knowing what the situation will be like in a month. I understand the problem.”

Published at Mon, 02 Mar 2020 19:41:00 +0000