This year's edition of the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships, scheduled to be held in Uganda in August, have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and will now be staged in 2021.
The two-day annual motorcycling event traditionally takes place during the last weekend of August and it brings together top junior and senior male and female motocross riders from eight African countries -- Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Last year the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships were successfully hosted by Zimbabwe at Donnybrook Raceway in Harare where it attracted a record turnout of more than 200 riders from seven African countries -- Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The continental event was this year expected to be staged in Uganda with South Africa hosting the next competition in 2021.
But according to a Press release, which was recently sent by FIM Africa president, Marco Comana, to its member countries, the African Championships have now been shifted from this year to next year following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus which has affected almost every country in the world and has forced most sporting events to be frozen.
The 2020 African Motocross Championships are one of two continental events that have been put on hold.
"After much deliberation and debate, it has been decided that in light of the COVID-19 situation we all find ourselves in, Council has agreed to postpone the two 2020 Continental Championship events, as well as the Commission and General Assembly meetings.
"The travel restrictions, as well as the effect on our economies in Africa, were taken into account when this decision was made, and it was felt that it would take a while to recover from the lockdowns currently being imposed (by several countries), and therefore, securing corporate sponsorships would not be easy.
"The 2020 MXOAN (FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships) event will be held in 2021, and the 2021 event will be moved to 2022, this postponement will affect the host countries i.e. Uganda and South Africa. Council would like to encourage the WG Chairmen to meet with their members electronically during this inactive period," Comana said in his Press release.
He also said the Commission meeting and General Assembly, will be held early in 2021 (if travel restrictions are lifted) and it might likely mean having two meetings in one year to catch up.
"As I mentioned in my mail (recently), we find ourselves in very strange circumstances and for now we will need to adapt. Should any member have any suggestions or comments you are always welcome to send them to the Secretariat. Park your motorcycle, stay at home, keep healthy and your immune system strong, and see you sooner than expected," Comona concluded.
This development might have come as a relief to several top African motocross riders, including some from Zimbabwe, who were against the staging of this year's African Championships as they raised serious concerns over their health, safety and freedom of movement following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
This year's African Championships were expected to celebrate their 21st anniversary in Uganda.