The European Athletics Championships scheduled for Paris in August has become the latest high-profile event to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A local organising committee (LOC) and the French Athletics Federation (FFA) had been looking at ways to hold the event later this year but the continuing situation means the event at Charléty Stadium from 25-30 August has been scrapped. With Munich set to host the championships in 2022, it was decided against following the lead of the Olympics and World Championships and postponing the event by 12 months.
European Athletics’ interim president, Dobromir Karamarinov, said: “It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships.”
A number of major sporting events, including Wimbledon and the Open, will not be held this year because of the crisis and the rescheduling of the Olympics and World Championships left precious little room in the calendar. An extraordinary LOC executive committee meeting following an earlier assembly between the relevant French authorities led to the decision being taken. It casts new doubt over whether the Tour de France and French Open, rescheduled to begin in August and September respectively, will go ahead.
Karamarinov said: “We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer. Unfortunately, today we were informed by the LOC and French athletics federation that, after discussions with the relevant French national and local public health and safety authorities, they were no longer able to proceed with delivering the championships this August and were forced to cancel the event.
“Whilst we regret announcing the cancellation of our European Athletics Championships, it is worth reiterating that in these unprecedented times the health and safety of all athletics’ stakeholders including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport is paramount. We will always do what is best for the members of our athletics family and the wider public.”