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Two of the world's most popular rallies, Rally Finland and Rally New Zealand, the next two rounds of the World Rally Championship, have been cancelled. Although an official announcement regarding Rally NZ isn't expected until tomorrow, the WRC has given details of Rally Finland's cancellation today. Both events have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the situation in Finland and internationally has improved, there are too many ongoing factors regarding health and safety risks to organise the event given that it is only two months away, organiser AKK Sports said in a statement issued on Wednesday (3 June). “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,” said the statement. Organisers investigated the option of postponing the rally until later in the year but after evaluating this option, the amount of unknowns and risks led to the decision. Promoter Jani Backman said that some preparations had already been made with the possible cancellation in mind. ”By cancelling the event this year, we want to show responsibility towards each and every one of the stakeholders as well as the whole society. Health and well-being are always a priority,” he said. “We will confidently move our focus into 2021, when we will finally be able to organise the well-deserved 70th anniversary celebrations in an amazing atmosphere and in great spirits together with the spectators, competitors as well as our long-term and new partners.”
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