With the outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), the quickly growing number of cases now reported worldwide, the governments’ actions to attempt to contain the transmission of the virus make it very difficult and unadvisable to stage international competitions during the months of March, April and through to May 2020, FISA, World Rowing, writes in a press release from earlier today.
The health and safety of the athletes and all other participants, including the general public as well as taking responsible and necessary measures to manage the spread of the virus, are the priorities of all parties involved in running international rowing events. FISA and the respective Organising Committees (OCs) have been in regular contact since the outbreak began. In all calls, the latest information and recommendations from the World Health Organisation, other international health experts and the decisions of government and health authorities of the participating nations have been reviewed and discussed in detail.
All have realised the multitude of issues that would prevent teams from travelling now, during April and foreseeably during May, including the travel restrictions being imposed by an increasing number of national authorities, mandatory and voluntary quarantine periods, and lack of medical coverage for coronavirus in some countries.
These factors, amongst others, prevent the participation of Member Federations in the events scheduled in April and May 2020. We also understand that prompt and decisive action is being sought and is needed in order to minimise the negative financial impacts on all stakeholders given a pragmatic analysis of the situation.
The FISA Executive Committee and the respective Member Federations and the Organising Committees have taken the following decisions:
- Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regattas
- Americas Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This Americas qualification event, scheduled for 2 to 5 April 2020, is cancelled.
The Olympic Solidarity/ FISA Development Training Camp that was scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro (28 March to 5 April 2020) has also been cancelled.
Classification for Athletes with Physical Impairments for the 2020 Americas Paralympic Qualification Regatta (1 April 2020) has also been cancelled.
The Olympic Solidarity/ FISA Level 1 Tutor training that was scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro (30 March to 4 April 2020) has also been cancelled.
The assessment for the FISA Level 1 Para Rowing Course that was scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro (29 to 31 March 2020) has also been cancelled.
Teams with accommodation/logistics queries should email the travel agency directly at email@example.com (only if direct accommodation arrangements were made).
- Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland
This qualification event, scheduled for 17 to 19 May 2020, is cancelled and will not be postponed or relocated. Teams with accommodation/logistics queries should email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Continental Olympic qualification regattas:
- Asia/Oceania Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta
- European Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta
are cancelled and will not be postponed or relocated.
- World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland
This event, scheduled for 22 to 24 May 2020, is cancelled and will not be postponed or relocated. Teams with accommodation/logistics queries should email email@example.com
- World and European Rowing Events for the rest of 2020
FISA is in continuous contact with the Organising Committees staging events later in May, June and through to October 2020 to understand the challenges being faced. FISA is working on a daily basis to make well founded decisions and communicate them on a weekly basis to minimise negative consequences and create as much certainty as possible. As soon as possible, further information on these events will be issued.
- Changes in Qualification Opportunities
Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games using the above planned regattas is no longer possible.
Due to the later date of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, for the following Paralympic qualification regattas:
- America Paralympic Qualification Regatta
- Asia/Oceania Paralympic Qualification Regatta
- European Paralympic Qualification Regatta
- Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta
solutions are still being sought to possibly offer these qualification opportunities. The target for this decision will be no later than Sunday, 5 April 2020.
The planned FISA Development Programme / Olympic Solidarity Training Camps are cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
FISA is now in close contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in order to finalise proposals regarding the changes to the respective qualification systems. The next communication will take place on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.
FISA understands the tremendous disruption to athletes, crews and all training opportunities as a result of the global pandemic situation and is taking these decisions in the very best and most principled way we can under the circumstances. Due to the unprecedented containment measures being taken by governments around the world, we recognise that Member Federations’ planning for Tokyo 2020 qualification, travel, accommodation and equipment movement is changing on a daily basis. FISA is working to gather information, analyse carefully, make decisions and communicate promptly.