Thu, 13 Aug 2020

Photo taken on Dec. 31, 2019 shows the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the "Ice Ribbon", in Beijing, capital of China. Construction of the venue is progressing as scheduled. It is expected to host test events in June 2020 for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

China will not hold any international sporting events in 2020 apart from trial events for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) -- China will not hold any international sporting events in 2020 apart from trial events for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the country's General Administration of Sport announced on Thursday.

The Chinese sport authority released its "plan of resuming sport events based on science and order" on Thursday.

The men's Alpine Ski World Cup was set to be the first test event for Beijing 2022. It was originally scheduled for February 15 and 16 in Yanqing District, Beijing, but was canceled in January because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Staff work on a track at the National Sliding Center in Beijing, capital of China, on March 4, 2020. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. (Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office/Handout via Xinhua)

Beijing 2022 organizers say there will be more than 20 trials for the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics after December, but an exact timetable is yet to be released.

The program also pointed out the hosting plan for events such as the postponed 14th Chinese National Winter Games, and the 6th Asian Beach Games - originally to be held in Sanya, Hainan Province in November - should be "carefully adjusted".

As the COVID-19 epidemic is still serious worldwide, overseas players and coaches in some Chinese professional leagues, such as the Chinese Super League (CSL), are not encouraged to return to China for the time being, and there will be no overseas referees in 2020 CSL matches, according to the Administration.

Constructors work at the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the "Ice Ribbon", in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 31, 2019. Construction of the venue is progressing as scheduled. It is expected to host test events in June 2020 for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

Although Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and CSL games are required to be held behind close doors, there remains the possibility that China's sporting governing body may gradually allow spectators to enter stadiums.

"Under the premise of the implementation of epidemic prevention measures, spectators with negative nucleic acid test results within 48 hours and strict self-isolation shall be gradually allowed to watch the matches on site. They shall be seated at intervals, with the total number not exceeding 50 percent of the audience capacity," read the plan.

In low epidemic risk areas, sports facilities are encouraged to gradually reopen to public on a "one in, one out" basis. ■

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