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Monaco: World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said that the global governing body for athletics is working on a contingency plan for a second consecutive year in which competitions would be impacted by COVID-19 just as they were in 2020.
Coe told media after the World Athletics Council meeting that it is looking at a reality in which competitions within national borders became a template next year.
“It isn’t inconceivable that we could end up for the second year in a row with some very badly dented competition ambitions. And that wouldn’t just have a financial impact on the sport, it would also have the impact that goes way beyond that, and I suppose it is simply about eyeballs on our sport,” said Coe.
“We are a global sport. No sport can sit for very long outside that kind of engagement. We need to look at this – and I will be taking the lead in a piece of work that we will start as of today, and that is looking at a possible scenario where for a second year we are not having competition.”
Coe said that countries’ ability to hold their National Championships will now be “more important than ever.”
“It may be that we have to drive this type of competition through our Area associations – that’s an important concept for us,” he said. “And I think that wherever we look we probably recognise that what I would call our domestic product, our National Championships, our ability to stage events within our own borders, is going to be more important than ever.
“If we got it right, that would allow the media and our communications and competitions teams to aggregate a global presence. I hope that isn’t the case – but it is I think worthy of reflection and certainly some planning going forward.”