Coronavirus latest: ONE Championship, ISPO, Nike stores, and more

Mixed martial arts promoter ONE Championship has cancelled its planned event in Chongqing on April 11 due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The event has been replaced in the ONE calendar by one in Jakarta on April 10.

The cancellation was in response to the Chongqing Municipal Culture and Tourism Commission closing all public cultural venues and cancelling all public “cultural activities”. Chongqing has been the city worst affected by the epidemic outside of Wuhan, according to news service Caixin.

Other effects of the epidemic on the sports industry in the last 24 hours include:

ISPO Beijing cancellation

Sports industry conference and exhibition ISPO Beijing scheduled for February 12-15 has been cancelled. Beijing authorities have cancelled all large-scale events. ISPO has begun contacting exhibitors and visitors to provide further information.

Nike shuts half of stores

Sportswear company Nike has temporarily closed about half of its stores in China. The remainder have reduced their opening hours. Nike said it expects the epidemic to have a significant impact on its business. The Financial Times reported that China accounted for 17 per cent of its revenues in the fiscal year ending last May. The company’s shares fell 1.4 per cent in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive “seriously worried”

Toshiro Muto, the chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee said yesterday he is increasingly concerned about the possible impact of the epidemic on this summer’s Games.

Japan Today reported that Muto said: “I am seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games. I hope that it will be stamped out as soon as possible.”

Women’s Olympic football qualifiers moved

The Asian Football Confederation adjusted the schedule of the Chinese women’s national football team’s Tokyo 2020 qualifiers for a second time to “ensure adequate preparation” for the athletes and staff. The matches are taking place in Australia. The Chinese team was under quarantine Brisbane until yesterday. Football Federation Australia chief executive James Johnson said the re-schedule “will ensure that there are three full days between match days three and four, guaranteeing that the health and safety of all participating players is put first, which is a priority for FFA.”

The new schedule is:

February 7, 13:30 – China v Thailand

February 10, 13:30 – Chinese Taipei v China

February 13, 16:30 – Australia v China

Clipper Race avoids Sanya

The Clipper Round the World yacht race is cancelling its planned stop in the Chinese port of Sanya on February 10-15, and will instead stop in Subic Bay, Philippines on February 13-16.

Asian Cup basketball qualifier postponed

China’s men’s basketball Asian Cup home qualifier against Malaysia, scheduled for February 24, has been postponed. China will play Japan away on February 21.

BWF will not restrict Chinese participation

The Badminton World Federation said it would be restricting the participation of Chinese players or officials, or those from any other nation, at international badminton and para badminton tournaments.

The BWF acknowledged that travel restrictions on Chinese nationals could affect their participation, and said its member associations should comply with advice on the epidemic from their national health authorities.

The federation said it is working with sports organisations including the Chinese Badminton Association, the International Olympic Committee and tournament hosts to align on measures being put in place to contain the epidemic.

Hong Kong stops athletes training in China

The Hong Kong Sports Institute have stopped the region’s elite athletes travelling to train in China. Members of the national cycling team were the last to visit the mainland, training at altitude in Yunnan province before returning to Hong Kong before the Lunar New Year.