LPGA cancels two more events as coronavirus continues to hit Asian sport
The Ladies Professional Golf Association, the prominent USA-based tour, has taken further action in response to the spread of the coronavirus in Asia with the cancellation of two planned tournaments in Thailand and Singapore.
The 2020 Honda LPGA Thailand, scheduled to take place on 20-23 February, and the HSBC Women's World Championship, earmarked for Singapore on 27 February to 1 March, have both been called off.
The LPGA said: “It is always a difficult decision to cancel events and the LPGA greatly appreciates the understanding and all the efforts made by our title sponsors as well as IMG to host incredible events for our players. The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. While we are disappointed that these tournaments will not take place this season, we look forward to returning to Asia soon.”
The coronavirus originated in China, and some 40,000 people worldwide have become infected, with 910 deaths reported.
The LPGA had already cancelled its Blue Bay event due to take place on Hainan Island in southern China on 5-8 March because of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has suspended domestic and international sports events in the country in response to the virus.
The Vietnam Sports Administration released a statement last week advising all provinces to consider halting events that could attract crowds.
The ban means scheduled AFC Champions League soccer matches for Ho Chi Minh City and Than Quang Ninh, against Yangon United of Myanmar and Ceres Negros of The Philippines, on 11 and 25 February respectively, will switch from home to away fixtures.
ACL matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have already been postponed until May, while Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG’s away trips to Australian A-League clubs Perth Glory and Sydney FC will be rescheduled after the Australian government imposed a ban on foreign nationals arriving from China.
The Chinese Football Association has already suspended soccer at all levels in the country.
Other major events impacted by the virus include the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, which have been postponed until next year, and this month's Asian Athletics Indoor Championships, which have been cancelled.
Formula E, the international electric motor racing series, has called off its round in Sanya in China in March, while Formula 1 is monitoring the situation ahead of the planned Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai in April.
Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation has postponed the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group one event featuring China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan after substitute host Kazakhstan pulled out of hosting the event, while the China Masters badminton tournament in Hainan has been postponed after various players withdrew.
FIBA, the international basketball federation, moved last week's Olympic Games qualifying competition from Foshan in China to the Serbian capital Belgrade, while the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifying match between China and Malaysia, also to be held in Foshan, will be rescheduled.
The FIH, the international governing body for field hockey, cancelled the Hockey Pro League matches between China and Australia in Changzhou having previously postponed China’s match against Belgium at the same venue.