Lausanne, May 8 (IANS) The 2020 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) has been cancelled due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, announced volleyball's global governing body FIVB on Friday.
The VNL 2020 was scheduled to begin on May 19 for the women's competition and May 22 for the men's event.
The FIVB had in March announced the postponement of the tournament in order to protect the health of players and all involved and hoped to find a date later in the year.
However, the FIVB explained that the annual tournamenthad had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic and its impact on host cities being able to deliver safe, accessible and high-quality competitions.
“Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, the complexity of staging the global event across multiple host countries, and the commitment to safeguarding participants' health, the VNL Council, the FIVB Board of Administration and the event organizers, jointly agreed to cancel this year's edition of the VNL,” read an FIVB statement.
“The FIVB is continuing to work closely with all parties to coordinate the schedule for the VNL 2021 while retaining both Italy and China as host nations for the finals,” it added.
FIVB President Ary S. Graca said it would be irresponsible to stage the competition without being able to provide participants and spectators with a safe and accessible tournament.
Last year's edition of the VNL featured 16 of the world's best teams in each gender. Russia took first place in the men's finals in Chicago and the USA took the top spot in the women's in front of huge crowds in Nanjing.
In addition, FIVB announced that both the men's and women's editions of the 2020 Volleyball Challenger Cup, originally scheduled to be hosted in Gondomar, Portugal and Zadar, Croatia between June 24-28 respectively, will not be held this year.