From 18.00 today (10th March) the Czech government have announced the cancellation of all sports events throughout the country for over 100 people until further notice. The advice we have been given is that these measures are likely to stay in place for at least several months.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced on Tuesday morning that it is forbidden to organize all sports and cultural events in the country with the participation of more than one hundred people with effect from 10 March from 18:00. The measure is valid until further notice. Slovakia and Italy introduced similar measures already on Monday.”
Based on this decision by the Czech government it is now no longer possible for the world doubles or Czech Open to take place in Prague from 2nd to 5th April. The FIR is announcing this as early as possible in order to try and reduce the disruption and problems this will oviously cause to all players. Tournament Director, Svata Rejthar and the Czech Federation also recognise that cancellation of the tournament is now the only option.
The FIR and Czech Federation will attempt to find a new date for the tournament later in the year but no decision can be taken on this for a few months.
For those players with insurance which might cover flights and other expenses, it is important to note that the cancellation of the tournament is a direct result of the official action of the Czech goverment (the fact that this is due to official government action is often an important factor for insurance claims).
The FIR wish to thank Svata and his team at the Czech Federation for all the work they have already undertaken in preparation for the tournament…and the FIR will continue to support them in hopefully rearranging the tournament to a date in the future.
Many apologies also to all players who have already made travel plans to Prague. All accommodation at the tournament hotels is able to be cancelled at no charge. We are facing a uniquely difficult situation across the world and all we are able to do is follow offical local government advice and actions and then communicate these as quickly and as effectively as possible to all our players.
The official governament advice we currently have concerning all other FIR tournaments is that they can go ahead as normal…but they should not be attended by anyone who has recently travelled in any Category 1 country or by anyone who is displaying any symptoms who has recently travelled in any Category 2 countries: Coronavirus – Category 1 and Category 2 Countries
We continue to receive daily advice and will update all players of any changes as soon as possible.
Duncan Stahl / FIR President