• City’s most high-profile sporting event is called off in April and is likely to be held in October because of coronavirus spread
  • World Rugby will make the announcement on Thursday



Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

is the latest sports event to be caught in the city’s battle against the

coronavirus outbreak

and will likely be moved back to October.

This year’s tournament, the 45th edition, was scheduled to take place at Hong Kong Stadium from April 3-5.

Organisers had earlier said this year’s event was

“all systems go”

despite the battle against the virus, but have had to shelve the World Rugby Sevens World Series stop for six months.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union, which co-hosts the marquee tournament with World Rugby, remained tight-lipped on Wednesday night but a source told the Post an announcement would be made on Thursday by the game’s governing body, which is based in Dublin, Ireland.

HKRU chief executive Robbie McRobbie said late on Wednesday night: “We’ll make an announcement of what we intend to do tomorrow.”

It has been widely rumoured that the event would be rescheduled and October is the most likely date, according to the source.

April’s event was set to be another sell-out, with 40,000 fans packing the stadium in So Kon Po each day and more than half of them coming from outside the city.

Speculation that the Sevens would not go ahead began last year in the wake of the anti-government protests, then intensified after the spread of the virus to the city.

This year’s Sevens joins a long list of sporting events that have been either cancelled or postponed because of either the protests or coronavirus.

In the past month, the

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon


Longines Masters of Hong Kong

showjumping event scheduled for February have been cancelled, while the Hong Kong Premier League has been on hiatus since January.

This is the first time that the Sevens has been postponed since the tournament began in 1976, even going ahead in 2003 during the Sars outbreak.