The European Athletics Executive Board will host its previously scheduled meeting via teleconference on 24-25 March and top of the agenda will be discussions concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the various European Athletics events scheduled for 2020 and beyond.
A task force, established earlier this month, has been meeting regularly via conference call providing daily risk assessments for all European Athletics events as well as advice to the Executive Board.
With the coronavirus now declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, and touching all aspects of life in Europe, European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen spoke of the impact on athletics and explained the measures that the European athletics governing body is taking to mitigate the current situation.
“First and foremost I want to emphasise that the health and safety of everyone in the European Athletics family are our highest priorities and we will always manage our activities with this in mind.
“The Executive Board will define a roadmap outlining key dates for making decisions concerning our forthcoming events and the longer-term athletics calendar.
“This will include our next three events: the European Throwing Cup in Leiria, postponed from its original date of 21-22 March, the European 10,000m Cup in London scheduled for 6 June and the European Mountain Running Championships in Cinfães on 4 July.
“Perhaps the most pressing question for most federations is the status of this season’s major European event, the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships from 25-30 August. At this point we can say that preparations are going ahead as planned but we are monitoring developments on a day-to-day basis and must remain vigilant as the situation evolves,” said President Hansen.
In the meantime European Athletics’ staff at the head office in Lausanne, Switzerland, have switched to working from home as of Monday 16 March at least until 3 April.
“Given the current situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic it is important that we heed and respect the decisions taken by the Swiss Federal Government and Canton of Vaud, but also that we are still capable to continue working,” explained Christian Milz, CEO of European Athletics.
“We have therefore prepared all the IT and communications means necessary for European Athletics’ staff to work from home, including mobile phones, secure internet connections, and conference call software and we are confident that there will be little or no loss in effectiveness of our daily operations. We have also suspended all staff travel,” concluded Milz.
Decisions taken by next week’s European Athletics’ Executive Board will be communicated after the meeting