(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Four European Youth Championships PONY League cancelled due to coronavirus
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) / WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (USA) -
Four Pony League European Youth Championships, which were scheduled to be played in Czech capital Prague in April, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
After careful consideration and discussion with partner teams and organizations thoughout Europe it has been decided to cancel these tournaments.
PONY League announced the decision on Tuesday (March 10).
On Tuesday, the Czech government banned public events attended by 100 or more people, while schools and universities have also been closed.
According to Czech Radio, an official said those measures would be in place for at least a month.
European Championships were scheduled in four age groups of the SUMA PONY League European Zone Qualifier: Pony League Baseball (14U), Colt League Baseball (16U), Pony League Softball (14U) and Colt League Softball (16U).
More than 30 teams were to participate in the baseball-tournament, over-20 in softball.
The tournaments were scheduled to be played April 16-19 at the big complex of Prague Eagles in the Czech capital.
In a statement, Abraham Key, President of PONY Baseball and Softball, said: ,,We are very disappointed that our European Championships will not take place, but the health and safety of the players, the local community, fans, volunteers, umpires, sponsors, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance.
We are discussing opportunities for 2020 World Series participation and future events in Europe and are in the process of discussing multiple options''.
PONY European Zone Director Jan Bagin added:
,,There is too great a risk, at this time, to all participating teams, coaches, umpires, organizers and parents.
It is not in the public interest of the European community for this tournament to proceed.
We all have to join together to protect the European community from the coronavirus outbreak.
We believe that all of you understand this decision which organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety''.