Wimbledon cancelled for the first time ever since WW2 amid Covid-19 crisis
The Wimbledon Championships have officially been canceled because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease around the world.
Wimbledon has been a major fixture in the sporting calendar in the 1800s and have only been cancelled during WorldWar 1 between 1915 to 1918 and World War 2 between 1940 to 1945. The most prestigious tennis championship has never been cancelled during peacetime. Let that sink in for a minute.
The Wimbledon Championships, which have been staged in southwest London since 1877, Was originally scheduled to be held from June 29 to July 12, 2020.
It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.https://t.co/c0QV2ymGAt— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
"It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic," Wimbledon said in an official statement on its website.
“This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen,” said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the Main Board of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
However last week, the tournament ruled out going ahead with the championships behind closed doors with no spectators.
"With the likelihood that the Government's measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk -- from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds -- and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement," the All England Club said in the statement.
This is not the only major tennis tournament to be hit by the worldwide pandemic. Roland Garros was postponed in March until Septtember 20. It was originally scheduled to begin on May 24.
In the UK there are more than 29,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and estimated say that 2,352 people, who have tested positive for the virus, have died.
The 134th Wimbledon Championships will now be held next year from June 28 to July 11, 2021.