Fears have grown that next April’s Hong Kong Sevens tournament could fall victim to political uncertainty in the region and be cancelled.
This follows the decision to cancel the 2020 Hong Kong Football Club Tens, the tournament that serves as a curtain-raiser to the annual sevens event.
The cancellation of the tens tournament, which was pencilled in for April 1-2 prior to the sevens on April 3-4, is the latest high-profile event to be called off amid a catalogue of unrest in the city sparked by opposition to an extradition bill that has since become a wider anti-government protest.
Already on the list of scratched events were the Hong Kong Open tennis tournament, the Asian Aquathlon Championships, the Hong Kong Squash Open, and some horse race meetings.
“It is with great regret that we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 HKFC 10s rugby tournament,” read a Hong Kong Football Club statement.
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“Owing to the ongoing situation in Hong Kong, the tournament has, for the first time, had difficulty in attracting and securing firm commitments from enough overseas teams of sufficient quality for the 2020 10s.
“As a rugby section, we have made the decision not to host what would have been a lessened event in 2020, and instead focus our efforts on making the 2021 edition even better than those before. Our target is and always has been to deliver the world’s best 10-a-side rugby tournament.
It is with great regret that we have decided to cancel the 2020 HKFC 10s rugby tournament, which had been scheduled for April 1-2, 2020: https://t.co/ic7dy0pQv9
— GFI HKFC 10s (@GFIHKFC10s) December 11, 2019
“We would like to both apologise and thank all of the teams, sponsors and other stakeholders who had given us their support in respect to planning for the 2020 HKFC 10s. We also hope that the overall situation in Hong Kong, our beloved home of 133 years, will improve in 2021.”
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