Coronavirus: Wimbledon canceled for first time since World War II
As a result of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) ravaging the UK and the rest of the world, Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since the second world war in 1945.
The decision was made by all the England Club chiefs at an emergency board meeting on Wednesday, where they decided that it will be impossible for the tournament to be moved back to later in the year, or to be played without fans.
“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” Wimbledon wrote in a statement on their website. “Following a series of detailed deliberations on all of the above, it is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships.”
The All England Club gave thought to possibly postponing the tournament to later this summer, but ultimately followed in the footsteps of what England’s government is saying: public gatherings are not worth the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“With the likelihood that the Government’s measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk – from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds – and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement,” Wimbledon said.
Wimbledon added in the statement that they have donated medical equipment to first responders in London and offered the use of their facilities to those in charge of the battle against COVID-19. Earlier this week, the US Open tennis complex in New York was turned into a temporary hospital.
The Wimbledon was initially due to start on 29 June, to late July.