Pro14 final cancelled due to coronavirus
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London (AFP) –
The 2019/20 Pro14 rugby union final in Cardiff in June has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced on Thursday.
"Due to the evolving situation, unfortunately the board had to take the further decision to cancel the Guinness PRO14 Final at Cardiff City Stadium, set to take place on June 20," said a statement.
"Refunds will be made automatically to all who have already purchased tickets."
Proposals regarding how to restart the season will be reviewed in the near future.
Pro14 Rugby said it was working with key stakeholders to "carefully examine several proposals that can be implemented and delivered in order to close out the season -– albeit at a later date".
"Should any final be played as part of the 2019/20 season it will be hosted by the team with highest ranking based upon league records from this campaign. When positive indicators on the criteria listed above PRO14 Rugby will provide another update.
The same statement said the suspension of the 2019/20 Pro14 was now on an indefinite basis due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The 14-team league, which brings together sides from crisis-hit Italy, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and South Africa, was suspended last week.
At that stage, officials said when to restart the season would be a matter of "constant review".
Now though the board of competition organisers Celtic Rugby DAC have agreed upon a list of four criteria that would enable the championship to recommence.
The factors include public health authorities in the five countries must cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training and travel restrictions between territories will have to be lifted.
Also, no forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting the territories and player welfare will have to be safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at our participating unions and teams.
© 2020 AFP