Wales-Scotland Six Nations match postponed due to coronavirus
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Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP)
This weekend's Six Nations international between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff was postponed on Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak just hours after the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) gave it the go ahead.
A WRU statement issued at 0930 GMT insisted Saturday's game was still "going ahead as planned".
But that was before a fresh raft of sporting events were postponed due to the deadly COVID-19, including football's English Premier League.
And some four-and-a-half hours after their original statement, as the Scotland arrived at the Principality Stadium for their final pre-match training session, the WRU announced an embarrassing U-turn as they insisted postponement was now the "only viable option".
"Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries," the WRU's second statement said.
Even though their view of the scientific position was unaltered, the WRU said: "Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries."
The WRU were adamant they had done everything possible to get the match played as scheduled, saying: "Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced.
"Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue, a postponement became the only viable option."
Friday's decision means four games in total in this season's Six Nations have been postponed due to the outbreak, with the future of the 2020 edition now plunged into fresh turmoil.
All of the matches planned for the March 14 'Super Saturday' finale -- Italy v England in Rome, France v Ireland in Paris and Wales v Scotland -- have been postponed due to COVID-19 after last week's match between Ireland and Italy in Dublin went the same way.
There is no guarantee when any of the delayed games will be played, amid fears they won't be able to take place until October at the earliest so congested is the club and international rugby union calendar.
Les Blues team manager said on Tuesday he expected his side's fixture against Ireland to take place on either October 30 or 31.
© 2020 AFP