Sports events in South Africa are threatened by a variant of the new coronavirus

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Sports events in South Africa will be suspended on Friday due to the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus.

Four rugby teams will play South African teams in the United Rugby Championship (URC) but Welsh clubs Cardiff and Scarlets have announced they want to leave as England prepares to impose travel restrictions.

“With the situation in South Africa changing so quickly, we now want to get our employees home as soon as possible,” Cardiff said on Twitter.

“To the family and friends affected, you can be assured that our focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees and on keeping you informed of all developments.”

The Scarlets say they are also trying to get out of here as soon as possible.

Officials told Reuters on Friday that the URC game would be canceled, which is likely to be announced later.

Cardiff will play the Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday, while the Scarlets will face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

There is still no information about plans for Irish club Munster, who will face the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, or the Italian Zebre in Cape Town, who will face the Stormers.

They are the first clubs to arrive in South Africa since the pandemic began and postponing games would be a big blow to the newly started tournament, which will include teams from South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

The first round of golf of the Joburg Open will resume on Friday at 6am (0400 GMT) after a thunderstorm ended the game on early Thursday.

Second round knock off at 7am, but by then 15 English and Irish golfers had retired.

The event is the first on the DP World Tour schedule, formerly known as the European Tour.

On Friday, South Africa will host the Netherlands in the first of three games in the One Day International cricket series.

“At this stage of our planning and preparation, we are not aware of any developments related to the impact of the new variant on international arrivals,” Cricket South Africa told Reuters on Friday.

“In the event of these changes, the CSA will issue a statement and advise on the planned adjustments.”

South Africa will also host India next month, with the tour expected to be a huge boon to the South African Cricket coffers. India will play three Tests in December and January.