Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament for 2020 is cancelled
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Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament for 2020 cancelled

Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament for 2020 cancelled

A local tournament may be held in Dubai in December, the official announcement of which is expected on August 10

Dubai Rugby Sevens

The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament which was scheduled to be held from November 26-28, 2020, has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement on the tournament’s website, World Rugby said that it had decided to cancel the opening two tournaments of the 2020/21 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series scheduled to be held in Dubai and Cape Town.

The organisers confirmed that the tournament has been cancelled for the first time in its 51-year-history, since its inception in 1970.

“The decisions were taken in line with relevant government and International public health authority advice and with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public taking precedence. Both hosts are due to return to a full Series schedule beyond this season,” World Rugby added in an official statement.

Faisal Abdulaziz Alzarooni, UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) vice chairman said that the body “supports this decision which serves keeping every participant in the safe zone.”

“With 28 national teams from 18 countries on 6 continents, the current pandemic has created a unique challenge to logistics with each country facing differing levels of restrictions on travel around the world,” added Gary Chapman, president, Emirates Group Services & dnata.

However, the Dubai tournament organisers are still attempting to deliver a regionally focused invitational/club event in 2020.

“Whilst we are unable to deliver the world-famous Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens in its traditional format in 2020, we are currently exploring options to safely deliver an invitation tournament in December which will be invitational and club level regionally focused across rugby, netball and cricket,” said tournament director, Tom Burwell.

He added: “We’re working with the [Dubai] Sports Council and DTCM [Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing] to look at approvals for that to see if we are able to do that on the basis of social distancing and we’ll make an announcement on August 10.”

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