Rally Finland is the country's biggest annual sporting event and was scheduled for Aug. 6-9 in and around the central city of Jyvaskyla.

The gravel event, which was supposed to be celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, is the fastest race on the rally calendar.

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"Although the situation regarding COVID-19 in Finland and internationally has improved, there are too many ongoing factors with regard to health and safety risks," organisers said on the rally website www.nesterallyfinland.fi

"Together with the unknown progress of Covid-19, there are other major uncertainties affecting this decision.

"For example, the lack of information on whether current restrictions imposed by the state on public events will continue after July, and how foreign participants, teams and spectators will be able to safely travel to Finland."

Three rallies have taken place this year and Finland would have been the next on the calendar, with rounds before then either postponed or cancelled.

The Kenyan Safari Rally scheduled for July 16-19 has been cancelled for this year. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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