Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Local Dubai Rugby Sevens event cancelled due to coronavirus

Plans to host local teams in scaled down tournament scuppered due to pandemic

The Dubai Rugby Sevens will not take place in any form this year, after it was confirmed a locally-based tournament has also now been cancelled due to the pandemic.

It was announced in July that the first two legs of the World Sevens Series season, in Dubai and Cape Town, would not be going ahead.

It was hoped the Dubai event could go ahead in some guise, along the lines of a club invitational competition.

However, domestic rugby is still yet to restart after the Covid-enforced break.

The UAE Rugby Federation announced in September the suspension of all rugby activities until they have obtained government approval for their return to play protocols.

It was subsequently confirmed that Dubai-based clubs and academies can continue to train, but that competitions are prohibited until further notice.

Now, the decision has been taken to cancel the proposed plan for the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

“The team have been working tirelessly since the World Series cancellation was announced in July in an attempt to build out a plan for the event to take place,” Thomas Burwell, the tournament director of the Sevens, said.

“A primary goal was to put the health and safety of participants, suppliers and partners at a premium.

“I am very proud of the work that the team produced, we have left no stone unturned, but following further discussions with stakeholders at all levels the decision has been taken to cancel the tournament for 2020.

"It is certainly with a heavy heart that we make today's announcement. The tournament has taken place every year for the past 51 years, so I appreciate the impact that cancellation has on both the sporting and the local community.

“It is the correct decision with the health and safety of all at the forefront.

"We were incredibly close to making this happen, but ultimately we have fallen at the last hurdle.”

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Updated: October 11, 2020 02:23 PM

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