The 2020 edition of the annual World Schools Festival set to be held in Pretoria has been called off due to coronavirus concerns.
The festival, which was set to be hosted by Affies this year from 24-28 March, involves South African schools’ 1st XVs playing against those from overseas-based schools, mostly from New Zealand, Australia and England.
‘As everyone is aware the ongoing and developing global situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus is causing major concerns for everyone, and affecting day-to-day activities across the world,’ said the festival organisers, Carinat Marketing, in a statement.
‘The World Schools Festival organisers have been closely monitoring this situation, particularly over the past week, and increase of spread across countries represented at the 2020 event. We have sought to look at all information available to ensure we can fully understand the potential impacts and consequences on anyone and everyone involved in the event, wherever across the world.
‘Unfortunately, and with sadness due to these extraordinary circumstances, we have no option but to announce that with several of the overseas teams having to withdraw, and no alternative date options to move the 2020 World Schools Festival, we are unable to continue with the 2020 event later this month.’
The organisers confirmed that the tournament, which is becoming a staple on the schoolboys rugby calendar since the first edition in Paarl in 2018, would continue in 2021.