Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | World Rugby has recommended the postponement of the Rugby World Cup 2021. The tournament is scheduled to be held in New Zealand on 18 September-16 October.
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organizes the Rugby World Cup every four years.
According to World Rugby, the recommendation is based on the uncertainty and challenging global COVID-19 landscape, the challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
“It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage” reads a statement from World rugby.
Word rugby however recognizes the disappointment their decision has caused to the world rugby fraternity including the fans, players and teams.
“While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family”. World rugby says.
Grant Robertson, New Zealand’s Sports Minister, said the impact of Covid has forced them into a decision they did not deliberately want.
“We all wanted the tournament to go ahead as planned this year, but we also accept that the current Covid-19 constrained circumstances are not ideal for high-performance athletes in a tournament situation.
The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on March 8.
The 2021 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the ninth Rugby World Cup for women, to be held in New Zealand in the cities of Auckland and Whangarei, this will be the first women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in the southern hemisphere if it is not postponed.
The eighth World Cup was played in 2017 in Dublin and Belfast, setting record attendances and viewership numbers.