The International Equestrian Federation FEI yesterday anounced, that the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona (Spain) is cancelled. FEI President Ingmar de Vos declared: “We have looked at every scenario, including potentially running the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final behind closed doors without spectators, but the combination of the situation in Catalonia and the ongoing international travel restrictions has meant that we have unfortunately been forced to jointly agree that regrettably this year’s Final cannot go ahead in Barcelona, the risks are simply too great.”
In the last two weeks far more COVID-19 infections had been registered in Spain, especially in Catalonia. Several European countries reacted immediately and put up new restrictions regarding travellers going to and coming back from Catalonia. “When we announced changes to the rules for the Final back in April, we were cautiously optimistic that even if the series fell victim to the pandemic, we would be able to save the Final in Barcelona, but sadly that has proved impossible.”
The cancellation of the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final 2020 in Barcelona is a joint-decision taken by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), Spanish National Federation (Real Federación Hípica Española) and the Foundation and Board of the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (RCPB), longtime host of the FEI Nations Cup™ Final. The Barcelona Final was scheduled to be held from 2-4 October.
The rule changes for the 2020 Final announced earlier this year when the pandemic first started to impact the FEI Calendar, meant that 22 nations would have been invited to compete at the Final in Barcelona (2-4 October): 10 from Europe, three from North America, two from South America, two from the Middle East, two from Asia/Australasia, one apiece from Africa and Eurasia, plus the host nation Spain.
The European Equestrian Federation (EEF) announced in April that, due to the global pandemic, the launch of the Longines EEF Series had been postponed to 2021. As a result, there will be no promotion and relegation this year, meaning that Division 1 will start with the same 10 teams for the 2021 season – Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden.