The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has confirmed that this year’s edition of the Wimbledon Championships will not take place due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Championships had been due to run from 29 June to 12 July in London, but concerns over the ongoing situation with coronavirus led the AELTC to cancel the 2020 tournament altogether.
The AELTC had considered switching the competition to later in the year, but said as it is likely that current restrictions in the UK “will continue for many months”, there was no possibility of rearranging the event. Instead, the 134th edition of the Championships will take place from 28 June to 11 July 2021.
This will be the first time the Championships has not taken place since 1945, when the tournament was coming to the end of a six-year suspension due to the outbreak of World War II.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of the Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond,” AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said.
AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis added: “While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar.”
Meanwhile, European football governing body Uefa has announced that all matches across its Champions League and Europa League tournaments will remain suspended until further notice.
Uefa initially postponed the games last month in response to the outbreak of coronavirus, and at the time said it would issue further updates as the situation progressed.
However, with many countries across Europe having rolled out strict measures to combat further spread of the disease, both events will remain suspended for the foreseeable future.
Uefa also announced that all national team matches for men and women that were due to be played in June 2020 will be postponed until further notice. This includes play-off matches for showpiece men’s European Championship 2020 and all qualifying matches for the Women’s European Championship 2021.
The organisation had already announced that the Euro 2020 tournament would be moved to next year, with the competition now set to run from 11 June to 11 July.
The cancellation of national team games also applies to all scheduled friendly matches, youth-level events and futsal competitions. In addition, all deadlines related to all 2020/21 Uefa club competitions will be postponed until further notice.
Elsewhere, North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) has also announced that its MLB London Series will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chicago Cubs had been due to play the St. Louis Cardinals at London Stadium over the weekend of 13-14 June.