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Rally New Zealand officials have confirmed the event's cancellation in 2020 and are looking towards a return next year. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sporting events worldwide and this is just another cancellation which was bound to come. “It became clear that with our borders closed to international travel and the logistics required to host thousands of international visitors as part of the World Rally Championship, that the September 2020 date was not practical,” Rally New Zealand CEO, Michael Goldstein said. “Over the last twelve months our team have done a huge amount of work to be ready to host a WRC event. We are disappointed to not host the World Rally Championship in 2020 but at the same time the issues around the world put this into context." The FIA and WRC Promoter are yet to finalise the 2021 calendar, but the rally's organisers are optimistic of an inclusion next year, with continued support from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). "While we appreciate this will disappoint many motorsport fans, there are clearly a range of practical issues that cannot be resolved in time for the event to proceed as scheduled," ATEED General Manager, Steve Armitage siad. "Of course, we welcome the opportunity to work with the promoter and the FIA in the future to explore the possibility of this iconic event returning to our shores in 2021." FIA Rally Director, Yves Matton, shed light on the fine job Motorsport New Zealand had done in preparing for the rally so far. “The event has a strong WRC heritage and I’m sure the drivers would have loved to be back on its iconic stages or discover them for the first time. Motorsport New Zealand and the organising team have done a fantastic work so far and we are already looking ahead to the rally taking place in the near future," he said.
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