Organizers postpone Hong Kong WTA event due to protests

Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine won the Hong Kong Tennis Open title last year against Wang Qiang of China, left. (AFP)
Updated 13 September 2019

Organizers postpone Hong Kong WTA event due to protests

  • It was scheduled to be held from October 5-13 on outdoor hard courts at Victoria Park
  • ‘Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open’

HONG KONG: Local organizers and the Women’s Tennis Association say the Hong Kong Open has been postponed indefinitely due to widespread protests in recent months.
It was scheduled to be held from Oct. 5-13 on outdoor hard courts at Victoria Park.
In a statement Friday, tournament organizers said it would be put back “in light of the present situation” but did not give a new date for the event.
A summer of protest has rocked the region, led by campaigns against a proposed extradition law which would allow Hong Kong suspects to be sent to China for trial.
“In light of the present situation, Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open,” the statement said. “We strive to maintain a high standard of the event for all participants, players and the fans in particular.
“However, after extensive discussions with our key stakeholders, we conclude that a smooth running of the tournament can be better assured at a later time.”


UEFA warn clubs risk Champions League exclusion if seasons are not completed

UEFA and the European Club Association said that they were working on the possibility of playing on into July and August if need be. (AP/File)
Updated 04 April 2020

UEFA warn clubs risk Champions League exclusion if seasons are not completed

PARIS: UEFA and Europe’s top clubs have stated their determination that the current football season should be played to a conclusion and threatened that teams may be excluded from the next Champions League if their domestic competitions are ended prematurely.
In a joint letter released late on Thursday, UEFA, the European Club Association (ECA), and the European Leagues body representing nearly a thousand clubs in 29 countries, said that they were working on the possibility of playing on into July and August if need be.
The Champions League and Europa League — both of which are frozen in the last-16 stage — could be completed once the domestic seasons are finished, and “stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”
The joint response came after the Belgian Pro League announced on Thursday that it recommended declaring the season over with the present table accepted as final.
It is the first European league to take such a measure, although more could follow.
That means Club Brugge would in theory go straight into the next Champions League group stage, but UEFA, the ECA and the European Leagues indicated that they may be barred from continental competition if the Belgian league decision is finalized.
“It is of paramount importance that even a disruptive event like this epidemic does not prevent our competitions from being decided on the field, in accordance with their rules and that all sporting titles are awarded on the basis of results,” the joint letter said.
“We are confident that football can restart in the months to come — with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities — and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified.
“Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfilment of such condition.”
The letter concluded: “UEFA reserves the right to assess the entitlement of clubs to be admitted to the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions.”
The Belgian Pro League said it had had “constructive” discussions with UEFA on Friday in which it “contested any approach which would force a league to continue in the current health crisis.”
It has called for a “varied approach” based on the specifics of individual leagues and countries.
UEFA has set up two working groups to devise a way for European football to get out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.