AFI says Fed Cup will go ahead, but withdraws invitations to foreign athletes in view of COVID-19

NEW DELHI: Federation of Athletics of India on Thursday he said he will go ahead with the Federation Cup Senior National Championships in Patiala from April 10 to 13, but withdrew its invitation to five countries to participate in the meeting in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said the national meeting will continue as it is an Olympic qualifying event, but will follow government guidelines issued in the wake of the growing threat of the new coronavirus.

For older Indian athletes training to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, all of our competitions are lined up starting with the Indian Grand Prix 1 in Patiala on March 20, IGP 2 on March 25 in Sangrur, IGP 3 in Delhi on March 29 followed by Fed Cup Elderly people in Patiala said Sumariwalla in a statement.

All of these competitions will be held as planned for Indian athletes and we will follow all guidelines as directed by MYAS (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports), he added.

On the withdrawal of invites sent to athletes of foreign countries to take part in the Federation Cup, he said, Following the directions of MYAS referring advisory of Ministry of Health&Family Welfare in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus, AFI withdrew its invitation to athletes from Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for participation in the Federation Cup (Senior) 2020.

The AFI , however, did not say anything on whether spectators will be allowed in the Fed Cup and other Athletics It meets despite advice from the sports ministry to all national federations to avoid large gatherings at sporting events.