New Covid Variant Throws Sport In South Africa Into Turmoil
Muhammad Irfan Published November 27, 2021 | 12:20 AM
Johannesburg, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Nov, 2021 ) :South African sport was thrown into turmoil on Friday following the announcement of travel bans following the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the country.
This was followed on Friday by a travel ban by several European Union countries.
Two Welsh rugby teams, the Cardiff Blues and the Llanelli Scarlets, announced that they were withdrawing from scheduled fixtures in the United Rugby Championship and were making plans to return home as soon as possible.
Sixteen British players withdrew after the first round of the Joburg Open golf tournament, the first event of the new DP World Tour, and were expected to fly back to Britain to avoid having to spend time in quarantine.
But next week's South African Open will lose its World Tour status and be played only as a Sunshine Tour event, while the Alfred Dunhill championship the following week, which was also due to be a co-sanctioned event, has been cancelled.
The Netherlands cricket team played the first of three scheduled one-day internationals against South Africa in Centurion on Friday but a joint statement from the boards of the two countries indicated that the touring team would return home as soon as possible.
But the fate of the tour had not yet been decided because it was "highly unlikely that the visiting team will be able to fly out of South Africa over the weekend." This opened the possibility that the planned second match, at the same venue on Sunday, might take place.
The third match was scheduled for Johannesburg on Wednesday.
The statement said a final decision on the remaining matches was expected "in the next 24 to 48 hours".
The travel restrictions could also affect a Women's World Cup qualifying cricket tournament in Zimbabwe, which is due to continue until December 5. Nine teams are playing in the event, including Ireland and the Netherlands from Europe.
Cricket Ireland issued a statement saying it was concerned about the latest developments and was in touch with the International Cricket Council and the Irish government. "Our decision-making will be first and foremost based on the health and safety of players and support staff."