The event had been due to take place at the Charlety Stadium from August 25-30

The Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships, which had been scheduled to take place at the Charlety Stadium in August, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to cancel the event was taken by the local organising committee (LOC) and French athletics federation on Thursday.

A feasibility study looking into whether the European Championships could take place as planned on August 25-30 was announced in March, the day after the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was confirmed.

At that time, the possibility that the event might still go ahead was described as a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.

It was also announced last month that other European Athletics events – including the European 10,000m Cup in London, mountain and under-18 championships – would not be taking place as planned.

“It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships,” said European Athletics interim president Dobromir Karamarinov.

“We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer.

“Unfortunately, today we were informed by the LOC and French athletics federation that, after discussions with the relevant French national and local public health and safety authorities, they were no longer able to proceed with delivering the championships this August and were forced to cancel the event.

“Whilst we regret announcing the cancellation of our European Athletics Championships, it is worth reiterating that in these unprecedented times the health and safety of all athletics’ stakeholders including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport is paramount.

“We will always do what is best for the members of our athletics family and the wider public.”

André Giraud, president of the French athletics federation, said: “The decision we’ve made has naturally been dictated by the scale of the health crisis, which is shaking our world, and by all the uncertainty it generates. As a precautionary measure, it was our social and moral responsibility to cancel these European Championships 2020.

“The health of everyone involved was our main concern and the sporting aspects of the event, together with the economic challenges, were also taken into account in our considerations. It seemed to us, collectively, with all the stakeholders, that this decision, painful as it is for the athletes and for all the fans of athletics and sport, is the most reasonable one to date.”

European Athletics added that its council will discuss the cancellation, together with other changes to the global athletics calendar, at its next meeting which is scheduled to take place via video conference on May 7-8.

Meetings regarding the cancellation of the European Championships were held without European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen, who has been receiving treatment following a stroke.

Earlier this month, British Athletics announced that its national championships in Manchester, originally scheduled for June 20-21, would now take place on August 8-9, coronavirus permitting.

The plan, following the cancellation of the Olympics, had been for the UK event to still incorporate the trials for the European Championships.

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