The Wimbledon tennis grand slam has today (Wednesday) been cancelled for the first time since World War Two after organisers conceded that the challenges presented by COVID-19 were insurmountable.
This year’s edition of the UK sporting showpiece was due to take place from June 29 to July 12, but following meetings held today between the main board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of the Championships it has been decided that the 134th edition of Wimbledon will instead be staged from June 28 to July 11, 2021.
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak in January, AELTC said it has followed guidance from the UK government and public health authorities in relation to its year-round operations, alongside developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK. This enabled analysis of the impact of the government restrictions on the usual commencement in April of the significant preparations required to stage the Championships, either on the original date of June 29, or at a later date in the summer of 2020.
With the likelihood that the government’s measures will continue for many months, AELTC said it “must act responsibly” to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare the Championships from being at risk, and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage the event would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement.
Cancellation has been deemed the best decision in the interests of public health. Organiser said that fans who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for next year’s tournament.
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