Wimbledon 2020 shuts down amid Coronavirus pandemic

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The 2020 Wimbledon Championship has been cancelled due to health concerns linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a press release on Wednesday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) declared that the prestigious tournament has been called off “with the highest regard for public health.” This is the first time since the second World War, that England’s premier Grand Slam competition has been scrapped with new cases of coronavirus being registered in the island nation every day.

Image Courtesy: Getty/AFP

“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the organisers said in a statement.

“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.”

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“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,” the press release read.

The decision comes within a few days after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing global crisis. Last week, the AELTC said that it was analysing all possible scenarios, which included the postponement or even cancellation of the tournament.

However, the organisers added that the 134th version of the championship will be staged from 28 June to 11 July next year.

Meanwhile, the French Open otherwise known as the Roland-Garros, was scheduled to start later in May. But a few weeks earlier, the organisers unilaterally decided to shift the tournament to the final week of September.

 

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