Accra, March 17, GNA – The International
Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Taskforce has decided to suspend the current
European Olympic Qualifying Tournament in London dubbed “Boxing Road to
Tokyo”.

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The IOC Boxing Taskforce (BTF) took the
decision as a follow up to the widespread deadly Corona Virus that has hit the
world so hard.

The European qualifier, which started on
Saturday (March 14) and was planned to run until March 24, had to come to an
abrupt end on Tuesday.

The announcement comes after the event,
being held at the Copper Box Arena, moved behind closed doors due to the
coronavirus pandemic.

The Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament
was due to have taken place in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires between March
26 and April 3, has also been suspended, as well as the World Olympic
Qualifying Tournament to be held in Paris from May 13 to 24.

“Safeguarding the well-being of the
athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the
BTF,” an IOC statement reads.

“Since the preparation phase of the event,
the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organising
Committee – the delivery body of the competition – as well as its stakeholders,
its own medical experts, and the national health authorities, to set up the
necessary precautionary measures.

“The BTF eventually took the decision
to suspend the event amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine
measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust
their travel plans and return home.

“The BTF will continue to evaluate the
situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo
2020 boxing quota places in May and June.

“The BTF’s priority remains the
qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it will inform all
stakeholders as soon as more information is available.”

The IOC also reiterated it is fully
committed to the success of this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“The BTF would like to thank the host
nations, the Organising Committees and all the participants involved for their
support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary
situation,” the statement concludes.

The decision comes on a day when British
Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised against mass gatherings amid the
coronavirus pandemic, effectively canceling all remaining sporting events.

GNA



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