Sports

Coronavirus: Beijing SportsAccord Summit in danger

This year’s SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit could be among the major events moved because of the coronavirus outbreak after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency.
Beijing is due to host the convention, attended by a host of officials from across the Olympic Movement, from April 19 to 24.
In a statement, SportAccord President Raffaele Chiulli revealed the organisation is monitoring the situation “following the recommendations provided by the Chinese authorities, the WHO and other leading health authorities around the world”.
“We are also fully aware of the recommendations on travel and restrictions imposed by airline companies and Governments,” Chiulli said.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and share any developments regarding SportAccord 2020.”
The statement did not confirm the event would be held as planned, while airlines and Governments are beginning to restrict travel to China because of the outbreak.
It raises the possibility that SportAccord will follow other organisations in moving events out of China or relocating them amid fears over the spread of the virus, which originated in Wuhan.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which had been due to take place in Nanjing in March, were postponed to next year, while Olympic qualifiers in boxing, basketball and football have been relocated.
A total of 259 people – all from China – have been killed but that toll is expected to continue to rise, while 98 cases have been reported outside of the country.
More than 12,000 are thought to be infected with the virus, the outbreak of which has been described by the WHO as “unprecedented”.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China.”

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