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China Bans International Sport In 2020

C
hina has announced it will not host any international sporting competitions through the rest of 2020, affecting tennis, golf, Formula One, and badminton.

Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, reported the decision from the Chinese General Administration of Sport (GSA) as part of the country’s plan to resume sport “based on science and order” post-COVID-19, and all events, aside from test events for Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, will be either postponed or cancelled.

This means at least six events on the women’s WTA Tour and four on the men’s ATP Tour will be affected, including the WTA’s end-of-season finals competition in Shenzhen, which Shenzhen holds the rights to host as part of a 10-year deal that began in 2019.

In golf, the announcement means the men’s HSBC Champions competition will be impacted, along with the women’s LPGA Shanghai which was set to be held two weeks before the men’s competition.

The Formula One will see the Chinese Grand Prix thrown into question, after it was already postponed from its original April 17-19 dates with plans to be rescheduled later in the year with the rest of the Formula One calendar of Grand Prix events.

Finally, the Badminton World Federation was scheduled to hold the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou in December but will also need to look at postponement or cancellation of the event as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave the worldwide sporting industry full of question marks.

The GSA said in a statement the plan allows for China to begin the gradual increase of fans at domestic competitions, including the Chinese Super League and the Chinese Basketball Association, who are currently holding games behind closed doors.

“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,” the GSA plan reads.

“They shall be seated at intervals, with the total number not exceeding 50% of the audience capacity,” the GSA said.