Prince Harry has scrapped his annual Invictus Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The British royal made the announcement in a video message posted online on Thursday (19Mar20), noting that the decision to cancel the event, which centres upon wounded veterans, was an “incredibly difficult” one to make.
This year’s event was set to take place in the Netherlands in May (20).
“This decision was the most sensible – and safest – option for all of you, for your family and everyone else involved in these games,” Harry said. “I know how disappointed you all must be.
“This is a focus that so many of you need. I would encourage you maintain that focus as best as you can. The good thing is you have an extra 12 or so months to be even fitter, to get even fitter than you already are, to be at your absolute top mental and physical fitness.”
The news came moments before it was announced the coach for American football team New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton, had tested positive for the coronavirus. He joins the likes of basketball star Kevin Durant and Juventus soccer player Daniele Rugani among the top sportsmen who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.