2020 European Touch Championships and International Touch Series postponed
The 2020 European Touch Championships and International Touch Series have been postponed until the summer of 2021, it has been announced.
Both competitions would have seen more than 3,500 players and nearly 80 teams from 25 nations as far afield as Singapore, South Africa, Chile, USA, Canada and the Middle East all converge on the University of Nottingham, not to mention the many referees, coaches, support staff and tournament organisers and volunteers.
The unprecedented, ever-changing and open-ended nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the latest UK government lockdown and World Health Organisation information, meant that a joint decision between England Touch and the European and International Federations to postpone the tournaments was the only logical option.
The health and wellbeing of all of the participants must be the number one priority, and with the decision having been announced now everyone involved can fully focus on staying safe during this difficult time.
As tournament organisers England Touch will be in contact with National Touch Associations in due course with more details, and individual players/coaches should therefore liaise with their relevant national management in the meantime.
The postponement means that England will now be the hub of international Touch in 2021 with both the Youth Touch World Cup, European Touch Championships and International Touch Series all happening within the space of a few weeks next summer.
EFT has also confirmed that the 2021 Euros will be played under the FIT v5 rules; more details and collateral will be released in due course.
The 2020 Junior Touch Championships (JTC), which had been scheduled for Cardiff in mid-August, have been cancelled altogether. The 2021 JTC will be rolled into the Youth Touch World Cup in Manchester in mid-July and Wales will be offered the opportunity to host the 2022 JTC.
“We've been working extremely hard and closely with a number of key stakeholders to get a positive resolution in light of all the uncertainty,” said England Touch Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director, Gregg Cropper, “and we’re very grateful for the support received so far in terms of working things through to a decisive postponement, giving clarity for all involved.
“On a personal level I am devastated that we will not be seeing 18 months’ hard work come to fruition this summer. It is something I have lived and breathed and had no doubt that this year’s tournament was going to be bigger and better than 2018. But it is also without doubt the right decision to have made.”
England Touch Chief Executive Chris Simon added: “The Covid-19 crisis has caused massive disruption across every section of society, and it would not be appropriate given all of the expert advice to continue with having the Euros this year, even though it was still nearly four months away.
“Hopefully this decision will bring some clarity and we can look forward to having a fantastic week in England in 2021.”
Meanwhile the England Touch management is constantly reviewing the domestic season as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. With the opening round of the Elite National Touch Series (NTS) not due until the penultimate weekend of May a decision is expected to be made in April.