This year’s Wimbledon could be canceled with decision to be made next week

The All England Club (AELTC) will decide the fate of this year’s Wimbledon at an emergency meeting to be held next week.

The tournament organizer says it has been evaluating all possible scenarios, including both postponement and cancellation, amid the escalating novel coronavirus outbreak.

The grass-court grand slam is due to begin June 29 but a statement released by the AELTC Wednesday acknowledged the difficulties that lie ahead, especially since the UK government imposed lockdown restrictions on the country.

“The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world,” said AELTC Chief Executive Richard Lewis in a statement.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

“We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”

READ: French Open criticized for ‘selfish, arrogant’ rescheduling

Further disruption

The possibility of the tournament being played behind closed doors has been formally ruled out by organizers, who have also admitted the relatively short grass-court season would make postponement difficult.

The French Open, due to start on May 18, has already been pushed back until September, while all professional tennis has been temporarily suspended until further notice.

While the world of sport has been severely impacted by the spread of Covid-19 — most notably with the postponement of Tokyo 2020 — athletes have been rallying together to raise funds for those fighting the virus.

Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka, are to personally donate 1 million Swiss Francs ($1.02 million) to help the most vulnerable families in Switzerland impacted by the outbreak.

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