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China bans international sporting events until 2021

China bans international sporting events until 2021
July 10, 2020

The Chinese Government has announced that it will halt the staging of international sports competitions for the remainder of the year, aside from test events for Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s staging of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

As reported by state news agency Xinhua, the announcement from the country’s General Administration of Sport (GSA) detailed a plan of resuming sporting events in the post Coronavirus world will be “based on science and order”.

Among a range of international events to be impacted, tennis will be a major victim of this policy with at least six events on the women’s WTA Tour and four on the men’s ATP Tour affected.

Among these will be the WTA’s showpiece end-of-season Finals in Shenzhen, set to be stage in the city for the second time after the inaugural edition in November last year.

Shenzhen holds a 10-year hosting deal with the WTA for the rights to stage the Finals from 2019 until 2028 and this year’s event was due to be held from 9th to 15th November.

Golf will also be affected with the men’s HSBC Champions from 19th October to 1st November, a World Golf Championship event held a fortnight after the women’s LPGA Shanghai.

The announcement also halts Formula 1’s planned rescheduling of the Chinese Grand Prix and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals due to be held in Guangzhou in December.

Domestically, Chinese Super League (CSL) football games and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league are currently being held behind closed doors, but the GSA’s plan has opened the door to gradually allowing fans to return.

The GSA plan advises “under the premise of the implementation of epidemic prevention measures, spectators with negative nucleic acid test results within 48 hours and strict self-isolation shall be gradually allowed to watch the matches on site. They shall be seated at intervals, with the total number not exceeding 50% of the audience capacity.”

In another Coronavirus development, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has advised that its 2020 Asia Cup has been postponed to next year.

The Twenty20 format national team event was due to have taken place in Sri Lanka in September.

Image: Shanghai's hosting of the Chinese Grand Prix now looks unlikely to happen in 2020.

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