The 45th Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 2020, a popular yearly rugby event which has been running uninterrupted since 1976 may be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis which has been causing havoc in many parts of the world.
Hong Kong Rugby Union Chief Executive Robbie McRobbie stated that the body will be making an official announcement regarding the Hong Kong Sevens on Thursday evening.
When asked about the situation, Robbie said, “We’ll make an announcement of what we intend to do tomorrow evening (Thursday).”
Earlier, Hong Kong local broadcaster TVB reported about the Sevens event, “The Hong Kong Sevens, an annual international rugby tournament that has been running since 1976, is set to be postponed.”
2020 marks the 45th Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
— Hong Kong Sevens (@OfficialHK7s) January 15, 2020
The Hong Kong Sevens is the most prestigious among the Sevens tournaments around the world. It started in 1976 as a small competition with clubs and national teams which grew into one of the top sevens tournaments in the world. In 2019, the Hong Kong Sevens saw more than 120,000 fans at the three-day event.
The Hong Kong Sevens has been a model for Rugby Sevens globally as many nations have established the system into their own tournament structure. It become so popular to the extent that it made its debut at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Fiji taking gold. The system will be used again for both Men and Women at the coming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China, has become an epidemic affecting 27 other countries, claiming more than 1000 lives. Flights to and from China have been cancelled in many parts of the world until the virus can be effectively contained.
The Hong Kong Sevens is not the first major sporting event to be interrupted by the coronavirus, the Formula One Grand Prix which was to be held in China, has been postponed. The virus has played havoc with many other events, both sporting and social, have been either postponed or cancelled.