Unfortunately, the Coronavirus health scare has claimed another World sporting event. The Asian legs of the 2019/20 Sevens Series have been postponed by World Rugby.
Affecting the HSBC World Series, by removing one of the most popular stops on the circuit; Hong Kong. The mecca of sevens, that and the Singapore events both contribute hugely to both the men’s and women’s 2019/20 Sevens Series.
In a statement from World Rugby; WR, the Hong Kong Rugby Union, and Sport Singapore have taken the decision to reschedule the Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the HSBC 2019/20 Sevens Series in response to continued health concerns relating to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Both events will be rescheduled to conclude the HSBC Sevens Series with the Singapore Sevens now taking place on October 10-11, and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sevens completing the series on October 16-18.
Coronavirus sees Asian leg of 2019/20 Seven Series suspended
As a consequence, the women’s series will not continue until their next scheduled leg; May 2nd, for the HSBC Langford Sevens. An interminable break in play, however, the health and safety of players, fans and everyone working on the event are always of the highest importance.
77 days before the women play, might be something those players and nations will need to self-manage, the men now play at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens tournament on February 29, followed by the HSBC Vancouver leg a week later.
While an unwanted postponement is out of the control of players and management, maintaining their planning and physical conditioning during the breaks, is critical. So much so for the 2019/20 Sevens Series, but also for the all-important Tokyo Olympics.
In terms of the Olympic event, International Olympic Committee position is clear: there is absolutely no chance the Games, which are due to start in late July, will be postponed despite the growing global health emergency. Although, as reported by The Guardian; World Indoor Championships, due to take place in Nanjing in March, was canceled. And so was Formula One before the Shanghai Grand Prix was also shelved.
If for the fact the risk is too high, this will be one of the few postponements of any World Rugby event. The bad publicity must surely be offset by the safety of the stakeholders. And one that Last Word on Rugby is fully in agreement with.
Fans who have purchased tickets for Singapore and Hong Kong via official channels are advised that their tickets will be honoured for the rescheduled events and a full refund will be provided in the event fans are unable to attend the rescheduled events.
Hong Kong ticket information: www.hksevens.com
Singapore ticket information: www.singapore7s.com.sg
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