Daily Star

World Cup off due to virus


THE coronaviru­s pandemic has caused the cancellati­on of the $35m Dubai World Cup card at Meydan next Saturday.

Dubai Racing Club bosses were adamant the glittering nine-race programme would take place behind closed doors – despite the UAE government’s move on Thursday to suspend all sporting events in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19.

But a statement from the government of Dubai’s media office yesterday read: “To safeguard the health of all participan­ts, the higher organising committee of the Dubai World Cup 2020 has decided to postpone the 25th edition of the global tournament to next year.”

Dubai Racing Club executive director Frank Gabriel added: “We want to do what is best by everyone and it’s the decision we have to honour and work with.”

The All Party Parliament­ary Group for the Racing and Bloodstock Industries has backed the British Horseracin­g Authority’s ruling to halt the domestic programme until the end of April.

The BHA has been urged to reconsider its ruling and follow

Horse Racing Ireland’s blueprint of one afternoon fixture – behind closed doors – per day.

But a letter to the BHA from the All Party Parliament­ary Group’s co-chairs – Labour MP for

St Helens North Conor Mcginn and Laurence Robertson, the Conservati­ve MP for Tewkesbury – said: “It was the only reasonable course of action to take for the public good, in the national interest and to preserve the longer-term reputation and positive image of our sport.”

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