Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

GENEVA – It is a sovereign right of sporting federations, national federations and governments hosting events and tournament to decide whether they go ahead amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

“We offer them [countries] advice on how to manage risk. What we don’t do, is make the decision as to whether certain events or any event goes ahead,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s executive director of emergencies told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey will host the 2020 UEFA Champions League final in August and will resume Turkish leagues in June, while Germany’s top tier football league will start again this month.

“That is the sovereign right of those federations and the national federations and the governments which are hosting those types of events,” Ryan said.

He added: “We all want to see our normal social and economic lives return. The question is, what are the risks? How are those risks being managed? And what is the process by which that will be achieved?

“So, I think we would have to get specific information for example, for Turkey and for Germany, as to what the risk management measures are that are being put in place and certainly if asked by the governments of those countries or by the federations.”

On March 24, 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games for one year as the world grapples with the impact of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The committee later announced that the Olympic Games, will be held on July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, while the Paralympic Games between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, 2021.

The 2020 professional cycling season will commence in August, according to the revised schedule announced on May 5.

UCI World Tour 2020 will start with Italy’s Strade Bianche on Aug. 1 and finish with Vuelta Ciclista a Espana, or Tour of Spain, on Nov. 8, governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said in a statement.

The 2020 cycling season, which was among hundreds of sports competitions disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, will have 25 events.

These include the three grand tours – Tour de France from Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, Giro d’Italia from Oct. 3 to Oct. 25, and Vuelta Ciclista a Espana from Oct. 20 to Nov. 8.

“We have drawn up a solid, attractive and varied new calendar that is as realistic and coherent as possible,” said UCI president David Lappartient.

“We will continue to move forward together towards the resumption of the season … with the reminder that the health of riders and all concerned parties is still the overriding priority, and that the recommencement of our activities will remain dependent on the evolution of the world health situation.”

After originating in China last December, the Covid-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 263,800 worldwide, with total infections reaching more than 3.75 million, while recoveries exceeded 1.2 million patients, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. (IA/Anadolu)

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