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Fri 13 Mar 2020 01:37 AM

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Spectator ban at Dubai World Cup as virus fears bite

Major sporting event will be run behind closed doors owing to safety fears regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus

Spectator ban at Dubai World Cup as virus fears bite

Dubai World Cup, one of the world's richest days in horseracing, will be closed off to spectators when it runs at Meydan Racecourse on March 28. 

The gala event, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, will be run behind closed doors owing to safety fears regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus that has affected sporting events around the world.

Dubai World Cup is one of the highlights of the emirate’s sporting and social calendar.

The meeting boasts six Group 1 races and three Group 2s, including the $12 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates airline.

The announcement was made late on Thursday by Dubai Racing Club.

All supporting Dubai World Cup events, including the Post-Position Draw on March 25, Breakfast with the Stars and Welcome Reception, both on March 26, have been cancelled.

Race day events, including entertainment, have also been cancelled, a statement said.

It added that only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry.

All races will be contested and regulated in a standard fashion and results will be recorded officially, the Dubai Racing Club said.

"We appreciate your patience and understanding and are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. We continue to coordinate and adhere to the guidelines from the UAE government," the statement went on to say.

It follows an earlier announcement by the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) that race meetings at Al Ain Racecourse (March 13), Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club (March 14) and Jebel Ali Racecourse (March 20) without attendees.

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