FIVB World Tour seized by coronavirus
The coronavirus has seized the FIVB World Tour and heavily affects the Olympic qualification process. Today, the FIVB cancelled the Siming 4-star event in Xiamen (China) due to the coronavirus situation in mainland China. The FIVB in their official statement:
“The cancellation of the event is a preventative measure to protect the health and wellbeing of our athletes, fans and officials, which must be the FIVB’s top priority.”
In the last few weeks several important World Tour events have been cancelled or postponed. The Singapore Beach Open (4-star) have been completely cancelled, the Yangzhou 4-star in China and the Bandar Abbas 3-star in Iran have been postponed without new dates being announced. These major changes in the World Tour schedule do heavily affect the Olympic qualification process towards Tokyo 2020 since no further points can be earned if events cannot take place as scheduled. Teams that have not yet qualified should be alert.
In an extreme scenario, the Tokyo Olympics beginning in late July this year are also at stake. Due to logistics and TV broadcasting issues, a postponement seems very unlikely. Senior members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were quoted saying that with the coronavirus further spreading a cancellation could occur.
“You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics. There’s so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can’t just say, ‘We’ll do it in October.”
The future of the Tokyo 2020 Games seems to fully depend on the course of the virus. A final decision could be made end of May. Moving the event to London as suggested by mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey does also not seem to be a likely option.
We will keep you posted. Meanwhile you can find the current schedule in our updated event calendar.