March 19, 2020 / 12:30 PM / 3 months ago

UAE suspends all sporting events, raising doubts about Dubai World Cup

FILE PHOTO: Horse Racing - Dubai World Cup - Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 30, 2019 General view during the Meydan Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored By Mubadala Stakes REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates on Thursday suspended all sporting events to prevent the spread of coronavirus, raising doubts about whether the Dubai World Cup horse race meeting would go ahead this month.

Many professional and amateur sporting events across the country have already been canceled because of the deadly virus. Dubai World Cup organizers had said the race would go ahead on March 28, only without paid spectators.

However, all sporting events, including tournaments and competitions across all ages, have been suspended by the federal sports authority until further notice, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.

Dubai’s government media office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The UAE’s premier horse racing festival is regularly attended by members of the country’s ruling families. It is one of Dubai’s biggest annual sporting events.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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