The 2020 event had been set for Ireland before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

The next edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships is still set for Dublin, despite this year’s event having been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fingal-Dublin had been due to host the 2020 event on December 13 but will now welcome athletes for the next championships in 2021.

Competition, scheduled for December 12 next year, will take place at the National Sports Centre Campus on the outskirts of Dublin in Blanchardstown.

Torino-La Mandria Park in Italy will now host the event in 2022.

“Unfortunately, Dublin was unable to host this year’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships but we would like to thank Torino-La Mandria for their cooperation to allow Dublin to stage next year’s event,” said European Athletics interim president Dobromir Karamarinov.

“Ireland and Italy both have a rich tradition in staging not only continental but also global cross country events so we are naturally delighted to reallocate the next two editions of the championships to two proud and passionate cross country running nations.”

Athletics Ireland previously hosted the European Cross in Santry Demesne in 2009.

Dublin also held the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2002 on Leopardstown Racecourse, where winners included Paula Radcliffe and Kenenisa Bekele.

“We are delighted to be hosting the SPAR European Cross Country Championships for 2021 and we would like to thank European Athletics and FIDAL for their support in facilitating the event returning to Ireland next year,” said Liam Hennessy, chairman of the Fingal-Dublin 2021 local organising committee.

“Covid-19 had resulted in the championships which were set to take place in Fingal, Dublin, next month being cancelled, but we can now look forward to working with Fingal County Council, Sport Ireland and RTÉ to ensure the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships scheduled for December 12 is a memorable occasion for both athletes and spectators.”

Maurizio Damilano, who is part of the promotion committee for the Torino-La Mandria 2022 SPAR European Cross Country Championships, said: “Together with the Piemonte Region and FIDAL, we have immediately accepted in the spirit of collaboration the request of European Athletics and the Dublin LOC to postpone our SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Torino-La Mandria Park to 2022.

“In this difficult time throughout Europe, it seems important to us – with the sporting spirit that has always characterised Italian Athletics – to show our availability towards European Athletics and our friends in Dublin. We fully understand the efforts of those who continue working with great dedication for the support and growth of European Athletics.”

» For more on the latest athletics news, athletics events coverage and athletics updates, check out the AW homepage and our social media channels on TwitterFacebook and Instagram