16 March 2020

Tokyo 2020 European boxing qualifiers go behind closed doors in London

The European Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying event in London will now take place behind closed doors. 

The announcement was made by the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) shortly after the president of European Boxing Confederation, Franco Falcinelli, said he found it 'strange' that the qualifiers were 'open' during the coronavirus outbreak.

He told BBC Sport: "In my opinion it's very strange that England - and the competition - is open at this hard time."

The qualifiers are being played at the Copper Box Arena and feature 350 male and female athletes from around 40 countries. 

The BTF said the decision was made due to 'concerns for public, athlete and volunteer welfare'.

The event began on Saturday and will finish on March 24, with the new restrictions set to begin today. 

Falcinelli is also concerned over how the athletes are going to be able to fly home after several countries such as Italy and Spain have introduced travel restrictions. 

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