China has forfeited its away Davis Cup tennis match against Romania next month as its team cannot travel due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The match was scheduled for March 6-7. It was a playoff to decide which team advances to the tournament’s World Group I stage in September. The International Tennis Federation confirmed Romania will advance to play in World Group I.
In other coronavirus news:
WHO says ‘too early to say’ if Tokyo 2020 is threatened
The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that it is too soon to say whether the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is at risk of being cancelled or moved.
It was a more cautionary note than that struck earlier in the week by John Coates, the head of the IOC’s coordination commission for Tokyo 2020, who said the WHO had said “there’s no case for any contingency plans or cancelling the Games or moving the Games”.
Regarding the WHO’s advice to the IOC, the health organisation’s emergencies program director Michael Ryan said: “We don’t give them judgements. We assist them with their risk assessment. We will be working closely with them in the coming weeks and months.” He added it was “way too far” away to consider giving advice that would affect hosting arrangements.
Vietnam F1 organisers say race will go ahead
Le Ngoc Chi, CEO of Vietnam Grand Prix, the organiser of Vietnam’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix, told Agence France-Presse that the race will go ahead as scheduled in Hanoi on April 5.
The Bangkok Post reported that Tran Trung Hieu, deputy director of Hanoi’s tourism department, said: “The time for the… F1 race will not be postponed or delayed…Although this is a sports event, it has a very huge impact on Vietnam and Hanoi’s tourism.” He said measures would be taken to ensure the safety of attendees .
Construction work is continuing on stands for the race.
Vietnam shares an 800-mile border with China, and last week became the only country outside China to put whole communities under quarantine. A cluster of six villages, 40km outside Hanoi, were sealed off by checkpoints. Vietnam has banned flights to and from China and suspended new tourist visas for Chinese nationals and foreigners that have been in China recently.
Last week, UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Formula One was facing a loss in income of more than £30m ($39m/€36m) due to the Chinese Grand Prix being cancelled. This figure represents the series’ race fee from China. Hospitality revenues expected to be around £3m have also been lost.
ONE Championship Singapore event behind closed doors
ONE Championship’s February 28 event in Singapore will take place without spectators due to the coronavirus outbreak. The event is scheduled for the city’s 12,000-capacity Indoor Stadium. In a Facebook post, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said the event would be held for broadcast only and that ticket purchases would be refunded.
Sityodtong said: “My team and I had the option to cancel the event altogether, but we chose not to cancel it. More than ever, the world needs hope and strength right now…Let us unite as a country and let us show strength as a continent to conquer this coronavirus. Let us celebrate what makes us special, what makes us strong, what makes us human. A ship is not made to sit in the calm waters of a harbour. It is made to conquer the rough seas in search of new horizons. With love, compassion, and resilience, we will get through these tough times together. Majulah Singapura! Jiayou China! #WeAreONE.”
- The 2020 Chongqing International Marathon, an IAAF-sanctioned race, has been postponed without a new date being set. The marathon was to take place on March 22.
- Organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics said preparations for the event are proceeding despite the epidemic. Construction of the National Sleigh and Luge Centre and the National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing, and the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, is continuing. Xinhua reported that workers’ temperatures are being monitored; masks are being worn; offices, cafeteria, dormitories and shuttle buses are regularly disinfected; and migrant workers that returned to Beijing for the Chinese New Year holiday are under quarantine.
- An international football friendly between Vietnam and Iraq planned to take place in Vietnam on March 26, has been cancelled. The Vietnam Football Federation cancelled the fixture after the Iraq Football Association raised concerns about it.
- The transfer window for Chinese Super League football teams has been extended to April 5. This follows the postponement of the season’s start from this week to mid-April.
- Mongolia’s archery team cancelled an Olympic training camp in Japan, due to run from February 19 to March 7. The Mongolian government has advised its national teams not to travel to events or training camps in other Asian countries.
- The International Table Tennis Federation, along with commercial partners Changxing International and Quangaun Sports, have donated warm clothing to medical staff in Wuhan.