‘We won’t put any fans or these athletes at risk’: COVID-19 puts Island sports events in jeopardy

WatchMajor tournaments and sporting events on Vancouver Island including the FIBA Men's Basketball Olympic Qualifier and Canada Sevens Series could be facing postponement or cancellation.

It was seemingly business as usual this morning at Westhills Stadium in Langford as the Canadian Women’s Sevens National Team prepare to host the world for the Canada Women’s Sevens tournament in May.

But that could change in the very near future. Last month, the World Rugby Sevens Series postponed the Singapore and Hong Kong Sevens tournaments until October, and the Langford Sevens Series could also be in jeopardy.

“We won’t put any fans or these athletes at risk,” said Rugby Canada spokesperson Gareth Rees.

“I can’t really speculate on many things, I just know we won’t be putting people at risk and we won’t be flying athletes across the world if there’s any risk to them.”

Rees added that a more formal update will be made next week but as of this morning, the tournament is still slated for May 2 to May 3.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: TC 10K in Victoria cancelled 

Later this month, Westhills Stadium is also set to host the Canadian Men’s soccer team for two World Cup qualifying match-ups against Trinidad and Tobago. The first match-up on March 27 is already sold out. CHEK reached out to Canada Soccer and they responded saying they’d provide a full update on the games’ status on Friday.

The Canadian Premier League meanwhile say they are assessing the situation but have not made any changes to the season opener at this time. Pacific FC opens its season April 11 at Westhills Stadium.

As for the highly anticipated FIBA Men’s basketball Olympic Qualifying tournament scheduled for this June in Victoria, FIBA announced this morning they have suspended all league play but they have informed local organizing committees to continue planning for the tournaments ahead.

“The safety of our fans, our players, are of critical importance,” said Clint Hamilton, Victoria Chair of the FIBA tournament.

“We’re hopeful that FIBA’s announcement today, consistent with other measures that are being done around the sporting world, will help contain the virus…..We will continue to plan for the tournament in June as per the parameters we have now.”



Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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