Published On: Mon, Mar 9th, 2020

Coronavirus: ATP confirm tournament plans amid Miami Open cancellation fears | Tennis | Sport

The ATP have released a statement confirming the 2020 calendar remains as it is amid the growing impact of the coronavirus in sport. On Sunday evening, it was announced that the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells would be cancelled after positive cases of the virus were found nearby.

Immediately following Indian Wells is the Miami Open in Florida, where the Department of Health has advised individuals who have travelled internationally to self-isolate for 14 days following their date of return to the United States.

Despite that, the tournament said they would be “moving forward as scheduled” toward their March 23 start.

And moments later, the ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi issued a statement on behalf of the association making clear the calendar stays “as status quo”.

He said: ”While we regret that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will not take place, the ATP Tour calendar beyond Indian Wells remains as status quo.

“We continue to monitor the situation daily, working closely with our player and tournament members with the understanding that direction must be taken from local public health authorities.

“We are committed to exploring all options for the operation of upcoming tournaments as the health and safety of our players and all other stakeholders remain our top priority.

“Any further updates will be communicated on ATP platforms.”

Tennis is not the only sport feeling the impact of coronavirus.

In rugby, the France v Ireland Six Nations match became the latest to be postponed.

While all domestic sporting action in Italy has been suspended until April 3 at the earliest.

As it stands, the Wales v Scotland match is the only game in the final round of the Six Nations due to go ahead as originally scheduled, after the Italy v England game in Rome was postponed last week.

A statement from Six Nations Rugby read: “Following instructions received from the authorities in France, the decision has been made to postpone the Round 5 Guinness Six Nations match between France and Ireland.

“We are still awaiting confirmation for the Women’s and U20s fixtures.”

In the UK, several sports governing bodies met with broadcasters and Government officials on Monday to discuss contingency plans.

A spokesperson for the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which hosted the meeting said: “Senior government officials chaired a constructive meeting of sports and broadcast partners, as part of sensible contingency planning in relation to Covid-19.

“This included a discussion of how staging sporting events behind closed doors could work in practice, should the situation change and become necessary. However based upon the current scientific advice from the Government’s medical experts there is no rationale to close or cancel sporting events as things stand.

“We will remain in regular dialogue with sports governing bodies and broadcasters, ensuring they are in receipt of the most up to date guidance from the health authorities.”

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