The organisers of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup are to give 20,021 tickets to health and social care workers to recognise their efforts in fighting the coronvavirus pandemic.
Chief executive Jon Dutton made the announcement at an online press conference held at the same time as Thursday evening’s nationwide applause for the NHS staff.
Organisers have been forced to draw up a new timeline for the rest of 2020 but, with the tournament set to get underway next October, Dutton says rescheduling the event has not been discussed.
“The team has made the unanimous decision to provide 20,021 free tickets to key workers in the UK as our way of saying thank you,” Dutton said.
“The work, effort, dedication and sheer determination needs to be recognised and hopefully we can provide these local heroes and their families with something to look forward to next year.”
Despite many sporting events across the world being postponed or even cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Dutton remains hopeful the World Cup will not be affected by the current crisis.
“Other sports, clubs, leagues and events have been acutely impacted by COVID-19 and our planning needs to be aligned and proportionate with the global crisis and respectful of more immediate needs,” he said.
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