GENEVA

It is a sovereign right of sporting federations, national federations and governments hosting events and tournament to decide whether they go ahead amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

“We offer them [countries] advice on how to manage risk. What we don’t do, is make the decision as to whether certain events or any event goes ahead,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s executive director of emergencies told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey will host the 2020 UEFA Champions League final in August and will resume Turkish leagues in June, while Germany’s top tier football league will start again this month.

“That is the sovereign right of those federations and the national federations and the governments which are hosting those types of events,” Ryan said.

He added: “We all want to see our normal social and economic lives return. The question is, what are the risks? How are those risks being managed? And what is the process by which that will be achieved?

“So, I think we would have to get specific information for example, for Turkey and for Germany, as to what the risk management measures are that are being put in place and certainly if asked by the governments of those countries or by the federations.”

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