For the first time in its 51-year-long history, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens announced cancelling the 2020 edition following the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Dubai Rugby Sevens’ 2020 edition cancelled
As things stand, majority of international sports have come to a standstill and rugby isn’t an exception either. The World Rugby announced cancelling the first two tournaments of the upcoming season, which includes the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, initially scheduled to take place in November 2020.
So far, the UAE has seen Coronavirus cases down from the high 800s to the mid 200s with nearly zero deaths reported every day. However, the Dubai Rugby Sevens hosts 300 teams from across the world every edition, putting the spread of the pandemic into question. Factors like logistics and travel restrictions also forced the tournament to be cancelled this year.
“After a comprehensive consultation process and constructive dialogue with the host organisations, it has been decided that the combined men’s and women’s Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, which were provisionally scheduled for 26-28 November and 4-6 December 2020 respectively, will not take place due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.”World Rugby
50th edition of Dubai Rugby Sevens in 2019
Last December saw 230 teams descend upon Dubai to take part in three days of adrenaline-fuel rugby action marking the tournament’s 50th edition. More than 100,000 fans and event-goers headed to The Sevens Stadium to catch the high-octane sporting action, featuring a closing performance by pop star Kylie Minogue.
“We are of course disappointed not to be hosting the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens for the first time in 51 years, but we understand the extraordinary circumstances surrounding today’s cancellation of the opening tournaments of the new season.”Mr Gary Chapman, President Emirates Group Services & dnata
Regional competition for 2020
For now, Dubai Rugby Sevens are planning a regional invitation-tournament featuring club-level teams to square off in sports including rugby, netball and cricket. More details and announcements are expected next month.
“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 & club level regionally focused across rugby, netball & cricket. We will announce further details in due course next month.”Mr Tom Burwell, Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament director
Photograph credit: Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
(Featured photograph credit: Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens)