South Africa sport set for shutdown over new coronavirus variant

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CAPE TOWN, Nov 26 (Reuters) – South African sport confronted a shutdown on Friday as a result of detection of a brand new coronavirus variant, with rugby groups scrambling to go away earlier than journey restrictions are imposed and the primary occasion of golf’s new-look DP World Tour underneath risk.

Four rugby groups had been resulting from play South African opposition within the United Rugby Championship (URC) however Welsh golf equipment Cardiff and Scarlets stated they had been seeking to go away as Britain prepares to impose journey restrictions from 1200 GMT on Friday.

“With the situation in South Africa having changed so quickly, we are now looking to repatriate our staff ASAP,” Cardiff said on Twitter.

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“For concerned families and friends, please rest assured that our focus is to ensure the safety and welfare of our people and will keep you updated with any developments.”

Scarlets stated they too had been making an attempt to go away as shortly as doable.

Officials advised Reuters on Friday that URC video games could be known as off, with an announcement anticipated later.

Cardiff had been resulting from play the Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday whereas the Scarlets are in Durban to face the Sharks on Saturday.

There was no phrase on the plans of Irish membership Munster, resulting from meet the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, or Italy’s Zebre, in Cape Town to tackle the Stormers.

They are the primary golf equipment to reach in South Africa because the onset of the pandemic and the postponement of fixtures will come as a significant blow to the newly launched event involving sides from South Africa, Ireland, Itay, Scotland and Wales.

The first spherical of golf’s Joburg Open resumed at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Friday after a thunderstorm introduced an early finish to play on Thursday.

The second spherical teed off at 7 a.m. however by then 15 British and Irish golfers had already withdrawn.

The occasion is the primary on the schedule of the DP World Tour, previously the European Tour.

On Friday, South Africa are to host the Netherlands within the first of a three-match One Day International cricket collection. Cricket South Africa didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the standing of the sport at Centurion, close to Pretoria.

South Africa are additionally set to host India subsequent month, with that tour anticipated to be a significant boon to Cricket South Africa’s coffers. India are resulting from play three exams over December and January adopted by a restricted overs collection.

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Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Additional reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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Rugby Union - Stormers v British and Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - July 17, 2021 British and Irish Lions' Marcus Smith in action REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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Healthcare workers assist patients being treated at a makeshift hospital run by charity organisation The Gift of the Givers, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 11, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

Rugby Union - Stormers v British and Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - July 17, 2021 British and Irish Lions' Marcus Smith in action REUTERS/Mike Hutchings