The 2020 European Cross Country Championships that were due to take place in Dublin later this year have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event was originally scheduled for Sunday 13 December but the decision to cancel was taken following a discussion between European Athletics and the Fingal-Dublin 2020 Local Organising Committee during Tuesday's Executive Board meeting held in Lausanne on Tuesday.
A statement released by European Athletics today reads: "It soon became clear that due to the overall uncertainty on hosting mass sporting events, the existing sanitary restrictions in Ireland, and the travel restrictions imposed across Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would not be possible to host the event as scheduled."
The 2021 edition of the European Cross-Country Championships will take place in the Italian city of Turin.
The chairman of the Fingal-Dublin 2020 Local Organising Committee, Liam Hennessy, felt that cancelling the event was their only option.
"We are disappointed that Fingal-Dublin will not have the opportunity to host the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2020 but we feel this was the only decision to make based on the current situation regarding COVID-19," said Hennessy.
This would have been just the second time, after Dublin in 2009, that the races took place in Ireland.
European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov added that decision to cancel was not taken lightly.
“The decision to cancel the Fingal-Dublin 2020 SPAR European Cross Country Athletics Championships was a very tough choice for European Athletics," said Karamarinov.
"Following the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championship a few months ago, this was the last opportunity for a major European Athletics event this year and cancelling it was not an option we chose lightly.
"I know that all the athletes and entire athletics community were looking forward to this event but I ask them to keep heart.
"I would like to pay tribute to both the local organising committee for their commitment and hard work to date, and to Athletics Ireland for their fantastic support while we deal with these difficult times for our sport."