Coronavirus: UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation calls off all competitions 'until further notice'

UAEWJF says decision was made in response to advice and directives issued by the country's health authorities

Victor Scvortov of the UAE, in blue, is currently at a training camp in the Czech Rpeublic. Reuters
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The UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation has joined other national sporting bodies in suspending all activities, including competitions and training, as safety measures are implemented to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

"We are following the directives of the health authorities to suspend all activities until further notice," Nasser Al Tamimi, general secretary of UAEWJF told The National.

“Safety is paramount for us and we’ll strictly follow the recommendations of the health authority to ensure the highest level of safety measures are maintained until we can resume normal activities.”

The suspension of wrestling and judo activities will not have a major impact as the federation’s schedule, Al Tamimi said, as most of their domestic competitions, including the school and club leagues, have already been, or are close to, being completed.

“Many of the international, regional and Arab tournaments have been postponed and some of them already cancelled,” he added.

“Also, the majority of our group activities are confined to the school programme with many of the training bases located at schools, which are already closed on the directives of the health authority.

“Our school programme is almost complete and our technical team are able to assess the levels of both the wrestlers and judokas to move those who reached the required standards onto the next level.

“On the upcoming events, we will monitor the situation both domestically and internationally and will carry out our international activities on the directives of the IJF [International Judo Federation] and take a call on all our domestic activities when the situation is cleared.”

Victor Scvortov and Ivan Remarenco, the UAE's Moldovan-born judokas who have already qualified for this summer's Tokyo Games, are set to compete in next week's Grand Slam in Russia with Al Tamimi saying neither was affected by Friday's announcement. Both Scvortov  and Remarenco are currently in training camp in the Czech Republic.

“Their participation in the international circuit will not be impacted as we follow the recommendations of the IJF,” Al Tamimi added.

The UAE on Friday recorded 15 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases in the Emirates to 45.

The news follows an announcement by the Dubai Sports Council on Thursday that sports providers in the city should postpone all sports-related activities until the end of March 2020, before clarifying that the circular was related to those "events with international participation", and that other activities could proceed.