The nightmare of all Quebec sports fans materialized on Friday.
The Quebec government has called for the cancellation of festivals, all sporting and cultural events on its territory until August 31. The measure will exclude professional sport, learned TVA Sports.
The Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League (NHL), the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League (CFL), the Rogers Cup (tennis) and the Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer (MLS), could perhaps resume their activities.
This measure was obviously taken in connection with the coronavirus pandemic which is currently raging across the province and around the world. This concerns both interior and exterior events.
“This directive is issued considering the evolution of the situation of COVID-19 in Quebec and the need to respect in particular the physical distance measure of two meters for an extended period,” the provincial government said in a press release.
Tennis Canada Responds
Within minutes of the government’s announcement, Rogers Cup organizer Tennis Canada responded.
“We understand the Quebec government’s decision to think about the safety and health of Quebeckers,” said Rogers Cup director Eugène Lapierre in a press release. Our priority in managing this crisis has always been to ensure the safety of players, amateurs, volunteers, our partners and our employees and our decisions will therefore go in that direction. We hope that our discussions with the WTA will allow us to make an official announcement on the status of the Rogers Cup tomorrow [Saturday]. ”
The Rogers Cup was originally scheduled to be held from August 7 to 16 in the Quebec metropolis.
Frontier League baseball in Quebec City and Trois-Rivières could also be affected. If they play in Quebec, they will have to do it behind closed doors. Announced earlier this week, the postponement of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada is likely to go in September or later.
“The office of the Minister of Tourism has clarified that this government cancellation request is not intended for professional sports leagues,” the Impact reacted in a press release. The return to play and the resumption of activities for the 2020 season will be dictated by the MLS, in consultation with the public health authorities. The Impact continues to monitor the situation very closely every day to protect the health of its supporters, players, staff and partners. ”
CAPITALS AND EAGLES RESPOND
In baseball, the Quebec Capitals and the Trois-Rivières Eagles said in a joint statement that “no decision involving the immediate future of the season can be made at this time.”
“The two organizations take this opportunity to thank all the supporters and partners who have shown solidarity during the crisis and who are exercising public health recommendations to the maximum of their ability in order to counter the spread of the virus as quickly as possible,” said added the Capitals and the Eagles.
MINOR SPORT SAVED FOR THE MOMENT
In addition, several sources indicate that minor sport would not be affected by this government measure.
No decision has yet been taken in the case of so-called participative leagues.