World Rugby has announced that the 2020 Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens has been cancelled due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
It is the first time since the tournament began, started by Dubai Exiles RFC in 1970, that the now world-famous round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will not take place.
The Cape Town, South Africa, leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series has also been cancelled due to the pandemic.
World Rugby said: “After a comprehensive consultation process and constructive dialogue with the host organisations, it has been decided that the combined men’s and women’s Dubai and Cape Town rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, which were provisionally scheduled for 26-28 November and 4-6 December 2020 respectively, will not take place due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decisions were taken in line with relevant government and International public health authority advice and with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public taking precedence. Both hosts are due to return to a full Series schedule beyond this season.”
Gary Chapman, President Emirates Group Services and Dnata said “With 28 national teams from 18 countries on 6 continents, the current pandemic has created a unique challenge to logistics with each country facing differing levels of restrictions on travel around the world.”
With regional and local events beginning to open back up in the UAE, organisers are currently looking at possibility holding an invitational tournament featuring regional teams for 2020.