The Sevens rugby tournament is a much-awaited occasion every year in Cape Town, with people flocking to the event en-masse. Unfortunately, the event will not take place this year on account of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
World Rugby announced on Wednesday, July 29 that the Cape Town leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has been cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Previously, the Cape Town leg was provisionally scheduled for December 4 – 6. The Dubai leg of the series has also been cancelled.
This decision comes after the recently announced conclusion of this season’s Sevens, with New Zealand confirmed as both men’s and women’s champions.
On the decision to cancel these legs of the series, World Rugby said: “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 and its partners continue to focus on delivering the remainder of the 2021 men’s and women’s Series, while working in full collaboration with all stakeholders to closely monitor the ongoing and challenging COVID-19 environment.”
In a statement, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said the development is very disappointing but not unexpected.
“The HSBC Cape Town Sevens is a highly complex, international event that involves 28 men’s and women’s teams travelling from all the corners of the globe and considering the progress of the pandemic, both here and around the world, the prospects of being able to deliver our normal spectacular were extremely slim,” he said.
“The opening of air borders remains uncertain; the requirements of quarantining and the need for preparation time for teams really left us no choice. And even if we had been able to fly in 28 teams the likelihood is that we would have had to play behind closed doors, which held little appeal considering the unique nature of the event,” he explained, adding that the health of players and fans are most important.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said: “While we share in the disappointment of players, teams, fans, hosts and everyone involved with the popular events in Dubai and Cape Town, this is a prudent decision taken with the health and wellbeing of the global rugby community and wider society as our top priority and guided by the relevant government and international public health authority advice. We look forward to welcoming these wonderful destinations back to the Series following this year’s hiatus.”
While rugby fans have to deal with this sad news, soccer fans are in luck as the PSL will return in August.
According to the PSL, The National Soccer League Board of Governors held a virtual meeting on July 27 to deliberate on the resumption of the 2019/20 season. The Board of Governors unanimously agreed to resume the season on August 8, 2020. The announcement was made by PSL Chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza at a press conference in Johannesburg.
The first fixture will be the Nedbank Cup semifinals, followed by the Absa Premiership and the GladAfrica Championship fixtures.
Picture: Twitter/HSBC Cape Town 7s