SANZAAR has today been informed by the Argentina Rugby Union that the mayor of the Government of Buenos Aires City in Argentina has issued a directive with regard to the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus). The government has directed that while major sports events may take place in the city as scheduled for the next 30 days there is to be no spectator presence. This has a direct immediate effect on the Round 7 match between the Jaguares and Highlanders at Jose Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires this Saturday (14 March).
Super Rugby CEO, Andy Marinos said, “Super Rugby is an international cross-border competition and with the global outbreak of the coronavirus in recent weeks we always knew that unfortunately at some stage there would be an effect on the tournament. We have been planning for such contingencies and have been cognizant of all government and health authority directives issued within their respective territories.”
“Today we have been informed by the Jaguares and the Argentina Rugby Union that the Round 7 match scheduled in Buenos Aires on Saturday may proceed but without spectators. We have also been informed that the match may be broadcast by our Rights Holder Broadcaster ESPN. We have taken the decision that the match will be played under these restrictions.”
“In recent weeks we have put in place strict medical monitoring of all players through the respective Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to ensure player welfare is at the forefront of our planning for the continuation of the tournament. Indeed we took the step recently to relocate two matches out of Japan. We have always said that we would follow guidelines issued by health authorities and governments within our stakeholder territories. Super Rugby fully understands the concerns of the Buenos Aires City government.”
“To that end, the SANZAAR Board and tournament management will continue to monitor health authority and government directives on the virus in all of our stakeholder territories. We will also be working with the UAR and Buenos Aires City Government to determine the future requirements around the Jaguares matches in Buenos Aires against the Stormers on 21 March and Rebels on 4 April.”
“Apart from the match in Buenos Aires on Saturday, all other matches will continue as normal for Round 7 (March 13-15),” added Marinos.
SANZAAR will issue information on any further changes to Super Rugby if and when appropriate.