Hong Kong (AFP)
Hong Kong’s famous 7-a-side rugby tournament has been postponed from next April to November Thursday due to continued uncertainty about the coronavirus after it was scrapped this year.
The Hong Kong Sevens, which is the culmination of the world 7-a-side circuit and helped inspire the inclusion of sport in the Olympics, will take place from November 5-7.
The dynamic tournament, an annual fixture since 1976 until this year, was last held in April 2019, meaning it will be out for more than two and a half years when it finally returns.
Organizers said the fourth wave of infections in Hong Kong and similar issues elsewhere in the world prompted them to move the event to November.
“In view of increasing infection rates both at home and abroad, and ongoing travel restrictions and quarantines, it was felt that the environment remains too uncertain to support the organization of the ‘event next April,’ the Hong Kong Rugby Union and World Rugby said in a statement.
HKRU chief executive Robbie McRobbie hoped the rollout of vaccines around the world would help ease travel restrictions, allowing teams and thousands of overseas fans to visit.
“We hope that global vaccination efforts can support the relaxation of travel quarantines and local gathering restrictions and allow us to accommodate the type of seven fans around the world are used to,” he said. .
Hong Kong is now set to be the final stop in the 2020-2021 World Series. Details of the remaining tournaments have yet to be announced following the cancellation of season openings in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, followed by stops in Australia and New Zealand.
© 2020 AFP